Welcome to our sixth and final monthly review of the Tampa Rays 2016 attendance. This post will look at attendance in games played at Tropicana Field from September 2, 2016 to September 25, 2016.
- Total September 2016 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 186,745
- Average attendance per game: 15,562
- Highest attendance: 26,443 on Sunday, September 25th
- Lowest attendance: 10,537 on Wednesday, September 7th
- Average September game time: 3 hours, 4 minutes
- Highest attended series: 72,627 vs Red Sox, September 23-25
- Lowest attended series: 35,000 vs Orioles, September 5-7
- Competing events:
- September 3: USF Football Game @ Raymond James Stadium (attendance: 35,976)
- September 24: USF Football @ Raymond James Stadium vs Florida State (attendance: 61,665)
- September 25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Raymond James Stadium (attendance: 55,009)
- September 25: Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest @ Amalie Arena
- Total Tampa Bay Minor League September attendance: 3,851
- Tampa Bay Minor League attendance per game: 550 (7 games)
Comparing September 2016 with previous years
The following chart compares September 2016 average attendance to other recent years.
The average September 2016 attendance was 14.27% more (1,944 fans per game) than the September 2015 per game average. September 2016 was the second lowest average September attendance since 2007.
September 2016 was the Rays worst September in regards to win-loss since before 2007. Here is another argument against the Wins=Attendance theory. The Rays had a better record in September 2015 than September 2016, yet their attendance went up in 2016. This means fans probably visited Tropicana Field for reasons other than a Rays victory.
Weekdays vs Weekends
Let’s now look at the Rays September 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.
This chart shows the Rays average weekday attendance in September since 2007.
In 2016, Rays average September weekday attendance was slightly better than 2015, but still lower than 9 of the last 10 years.The Rays played 6 weekday games in September 2016.
The following chart shows Rays average weekend attendance in August since 2007.
In 2016, Rays average September weekend attendance was better than it was in 2015, 2014, and 2012. Since 2010, 50% of the average weekend Septembers have been better, 50% have been worse.
Overall in September, the Rays saw a 54.8% increase in weekend attendance over weekday attendance.
- 2016 September weekend games (average attendance): 6 games (18,911)
- 2016 September weekday games (average attendance): 6 games (12,213)
- Percentage increase on weekends: 54.8%
September 2016 was on pace to match September 2015 attendance until the final series of the season. Perhaps the biggest catalyst for the Rays increase in attendance in September 2016 was David Ortiz’s final series at Tropicana Field before his retirement. The series occurred on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and averaged 24,209.
We can possibly make the assumption that Red Sox fans only visited Tropicana Field to see Ortiz. Prior to the series, games versus the Red Sox had not drawn more than any other opponent.
The final series versus the Red Sox also broke the Rays dubious streak of games under 20,000 attendance. Before September 23, the Rays had gone 27 games without drawing 20,000 fans. This was their longest such streak since 33 games (Apr 6 – June 27) in 2003.
As the season concludes, we will have overall season analysis of the Rays attendance and analysis of all the other teams in the Tampa Bay area. We will breakdown attendance by month, by day, by starting pitcher, and by opponent.