Tampa Bay Rays May Attendance Review

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Welcome to our second monthly review of the Tampa Rays 2017 attendance. This post will look at attendance in games played from May 3, 2017 to May 25, 2017.

  • Total May 2017 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 208,954
  • Average attendance per game: 13,060
  • Highest attendance: 22,864 on Saturday, May 20th
  • Lowest attendance: 9,014 on Tuesday, May 23th
  • Average May game time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Highest attended series: 21,627 per game vs Yankees, May 19-21
  • Lowest attended series: 9,482 per game vs Angels, May 23-25
  • Competing events:
    • May 20: Tampa Bay Storm arena football @ Amalie Arena (9,275)
  • Total Tampa Bay Minor League May attendance: 80,745
  • Tampa Bay Minor League attendance per game: 1,468 (55 games)

Comparing May 2017 with previous years

The following chart compares May 2017 average attendance to other recent years.

The average May 2017 attendance decreased 27% (4,800 less fans per game) than the May 2016 per game average. In the last 11 years, only 2015 and 2007 saw lower May average attendance.

In both 2007 and 2015, there was the impact of the Tampa Bay Lightning playoff season on Rays early season attendance. This season however, the Lightning did not make the playoffs.

Weekdays vs Weekends

Let’s now look at the Rays May attendance on weekdays (Mon-Thurs) and weekends (Fri-Sun). As I have pointed out many times, the Rays usually have one of the biggest differences in Major League Baseball in regards to weekday versus weekend attendance.

May 2017 breakdown:

  • Weekday home games: 10
  • Weekend home games: 6

This chart shows the Rays average weekday attendance in May since 2007.

Weekday May attendance in 2017 decreased an average of 2,623 fans per game, giving the Rays their 2nd lowest weekday May average since 2007. The Rays had 6 games with attendance less than 10,000 tickets sold, similar to 2007

The following chart shows Rays average weekend attendance in May since 2007.

The Rays May weekend average attendance was the 3rd lowest it has been in 11 years, despite a weekend series with the Yankees averaging over 20,000 fans per game.

Conclusion

Rays average attendance dropped from April to May as usual. And May is usually the Rays worst month for attendance. What is concerning however is that attendance is following the same trends as 2007 and 2015, two of the worst years of attendance in the Sternberg era.

With the Lightning out of the playoffs in 2017, there was no major sports competition for dollars. There were 88 Minor League games, but as we will see attendance has not done well there either.

The Rays are playing more exciting baseball recently. I doubt they will have as bad a stretch as they did in mid-2016, when they won 3 games all June. So perhaps the coming of June, the end of school, and the allure of a better team might bump attendance a bit next month.

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