Tampa Bay Rays April 2014 Attendance Review

A few months ago, we looked at the Tampa Bay Rays average monthly attendance from 2007 to 2013. This post will update those figures with April 2014 data as well as provide insight to April 2014 attendance.

  • Total April 2014 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 277,512
  • Average attendance per game: 19,822.29
  • Highest attendance: 31,042 on March 31 (Opening Day)
  • Lowest attendance: 9,571 on Thursday, April 3rd
  • Highest attended series: 110,786 vs Yankees, April 17-20
  • Lowest attended series: 36,955 vs Twins, April 22-24
  • Competing events: Tampa Bay Lightning home games on April 1, 3, 5, 18

Since 2007, average April attendance has been 5.58% higher than the annual average (21,618.78 vs 20,475.72). We will call this the “April bump” and use this number to compute what the Rays attendance should have been according to the average. We will then see which games did better or worse than expected.

On days where Rays games coincided with the Lightning, we will use an average competing venue effect of -22.2%. This was determined by calculating the difference between the Rays average April attendance from 2007 to 2013 and the Rays average non-Opening Day attendance on days of Lightning home games.

(See here for how Lightning games have affected Rays attendance since 2007.)

  • Avg April attendance: 21,618.78
  • Avg non-Opening Day attendance during Tampa Bay Lightning games: 16,817
  • Difference: -22.2%

This chart shows the percentage difference between the mathematically predicted Rays attendance and the actual attendance.

(2007-2013 Avg = Rays average attendance vs specific opponent on that day since 2007. Calculated here.)

2014 April breakdown

Rays attendance exceeded expectations four times (April 4, 5, 17, 18). They failed to meet expectations 8 times. The Opening Day sell-out was expected and achieved.

Interestingly, three of the dates the Rays surpassed expectations were on days the Lightning played home games. That could mean my competing effect was too high or perhaps Rays fans were driven by other effects. April 5th, for example, was Wil Myers bobblehead night  Since 2007, bobblehead promotions have added 21% to average daily attendance.

If we account for the average bobblehead “bump” and recalculate April 5th’s attendance:

  • Average Sat vs Tex 2007-2013: 26,491
  • Prediction with April bump: 27,969.2
  • With bobblehead bump: 33,842.73
  • Minus competing venue effect: 26,329.64
  • Actual: 30,364
  • Difference: 15.32%

So we can see the bobblehead promotion had a large effect.

Comparing April 2014 with previous years

We will now compare April 2014 average attendance to other recent years.

Rays April 2007 2014

The average April 2014 attendance was 1,500 people below the April 2013 average and 3,100 below the April 2012 average. April 2014 was the worst average since 2011. However, April 2014 compares similarly to the Rays 2008 April attendance.

2014 2008

April 2008 was the 2nd lowest attended month in 2008. May was the worst. As the team got better, so too did attendance. With Rays starting pitchers Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson on the disabled list, perhaps the record and attendance will improve.