Using Game 27 trends to predict Tampa Bay Rays attendance

In the past, I looked at where the Rays were in their schedule as part of the monthly attendance reviews. However, with Game 27 the 1/3 point of the home schedule, I wanted to make this data it’s own post. I think it is important enough to stand on it’s own.

Here is the Rays average attendance through Game 27 of the 81 game home schedule.

Through Game 27

The following graph depicts the chart.

Through Game 27 graph

Of course, when we look at the May attendance post, and we see how bad attendance was in May 2015, this is not surprising. But let’s take this one step further, shall we?

Let’s look at how Rays average attendance at Game 27 fares against annual average attendance. In other words, does attendance go up or down in the final 2/3 of the home schedule?

Game 27 vs Game 81 2007-2015

Outside of 2007 and 2008, there is very little change in Rays average attendance over the last 54 games of the home schedule. This may negate the well-worn “attendance goes up when kids are out of school” narrative. Attendance may go up in June, July, and early August, but it goes back down in late August and September, unless the Rays are in contention, which they were in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Coincidentally, the same years attendance went up in the final 54 home games.

The following graph depicts the above chart.

Game 27 vs Game 81 2007-2015 graph

Attendance at Game 27 seems to be a good indicator for what the final average attendance will be. Given this information, we can create a range of final expected average attendance for the Rays in 2015.

(Caution: not for the faint of heart.)

The highest post-Game 27 increase came in 2013. Using that 2.9% increase:

  • 14,651 x 102.9% = 15,076
  • 15,091 x 81 games = 1,221,156

The lowest post-Game 27 decrease came in 2014. Using that 3% decrease:

  • 14,651 x 97% = 14,211
  • 14,211 x 81 games = 1,151,129

A 3% decrease would be worse than Cork Gaines’s recent prediction of 1.16 million. Either way, we are looking at a “best case” and a “worse case” difference of only 70,000 fans, depending on if the Rays are in contention for a playoff spot.

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