The Rays and their nagging attendance problem. Will a new stadium solve that?

TomBrunansky23

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Expos part deux!
If they do end up in Montreal I think they should swap places with the Marlins. New Expos to NL East, Marlins to AL East, with the 9-10 home games Vs Yankees/Sox and their traveling fanbases.
Gotta disagree. Les Expos part deux in the AL east...built in rivalry with TO, plus 18 home dates w Sox and MFY to drive up the gate. Alas, all it takes is a new ballpark right on the St. Lawrence.
 

nayrbrey

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Gotta disagree. Les Expos part deux in the AL east...built in rivalry with TO, plus 18 home dates w Sox and MFY to drive up the gate. Alas, all it takes is a new ballpark right on the St. Lawrence.
I can see the a new MTL team drawing well initially, but yes longer term I agree they’d prefer the draw of a Toronto/Boston/NY-Montreal rival to carry over from Hockey.
 

Spacemans Bong

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And just in time, a Montreal group trying to bring back baseball thinks a smallish ballpark downtown would work.
It's fortuitous timing but the ownership group looking to bring a team back has been around for a few years. They're a big reason why Rob Manfred struck a different tone than Bud Selig from pretty much day 1 of his tenure as commissioner. When people with money want to make it happen, it leaves the status of pipe dream.
 

Fred not Lynn

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It's fortuitous timing but the ownership group looking to bring a team back has been around for a few years. They're a big reason why Rob Manfred struck a different tone than Bud Selig from pretty much day 1 of his tenure as commissioner. When people with money want to make it happen, it leaves the status of pipe dream.
Manfred has struck a different tone than Selig because he doesn’t harbor a nearly 50 year long grudge against Montreal (and Seattle) over beating out Milwaukee for expansion in 1969...I more think the emergence of a new bidding/owner group came about because of the end of Selig’s commisionership.
 

Ale Xander

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Rays to close upper deck and lower capacity to 25/26K. Removing the cheap seats and adding club seats to the outfield. Should at least make it feel less cavernous during games, although they will still be near the bottom with attendance numbers.
http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/01/04/rays-to-close-upper-deck-reduce-capacity-to-26000/
That should price out the 3 fans they have.

But seriously, they're probably moving to Vegas (or Mtl?) in ~5 years. Raiders removed the Mt Davis seats about 5 years ago too IIRC.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Keith Olberman tweeted out that this would be the smallest park (seat wise) since the Indians played in League Park where seating capacity reached 21,000.

It's time for MLB to put the Rays out of their misery and move them to a place that will support them.
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
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Hadlock Field is a nice place to play.
Not that Portland.. the other one. You know, hipsters and weed. Montreal makes more sense, if only because it wouldn't require realignment.

Sports in general in Florida is rough. I imagine the Marlins would be on the move too if not for the new stadium.
 

Zososoxfan

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It's really sad because the Rays have a decent TV following and the team could likely flourish with a stadium in or near downtown Tampa. The fact that Sternberg won't agree to foot half the bill is a non-starter for the negotiation. I love baseball and would love to have a decent ballpark to go watch the Sox, but as a taxpayer, Sterberg can get bent with his pissy ridiculous attitude.
 

edoug

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Not that Portland.. the other one. You know, hipsters and weed. Montreal makes more sense, if only because it wouldn't require realignment.

Sports in general in Florida is rough. I imagine the Marlins would be on the move too if not for the new stadium.
:D
 

Spacemans Bong

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Florida’s never been a great sports state but it’s just amazing how badly the Rays and Marlins have poisoned the well. We’re talking a state with lots of people from the Spanish Caribbean that craps out baseball talent every year better than any other state in the Union besides California.

The Rays and Marlins drew 5.5 million combined in their first year of existence respectively. The 1997 Marlins drew 2.36 million. The 2009 Rays drew 1.87 million, not great but at least respectable. The Rays drew 1.1 million last year with a 90 win team, and the Marlins drew 811,000. So less than 2 million combined. What a fuckup.
 

luckiestman

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Florida’s never been a great sports state but it’s just amazing how badly the Rays and Marlins have poisoned the well. We’re talking a state with lots of people from the Spanish Caribbean that craps out baseball talent every year better than any other state in the Union besides California.

The Rays and Marlins drew 5.5 million combined in their first year of existence respectively. The 1997 Marlins drew 2.36 million. The 2009 Rays drew 1.87 million, not great but at least respectable. The Rays drew 1.1 million last year with a 90 win team, and the Marlins drew 811,000. So less than 2 million combined. What a fuckup.

I’ve never been to a Marlins game so I cannot comment on that. I’ve seen the Rays 3x at home and it is by far the worst place I have ever seen professional baseball. I think I’ve been to 10 parks and the Trop is orders of magnitude worse than the others.

On the other hand, I often stay by where the lightning play and though I’ve never seen a game, it seems like a great venue.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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The Rays do well on TV. I think they have a fan base. That pit of a stadium is killing them.

The Marlins though...all their woes are entirely self-inflicted.
 

VORP Speed

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I’ve never been to a Marlons game so I cannot comment on that. I’ve seen the Rays 3x at home and it is by far the worst place I have ever seen professional baseball. I think I’ve been to 10 parks and the Trop is orders of magnitude worse than the others.

On the other hand, I often stay by where the lightning play and though I’ve never seen a game, it seems like a great venue.
You should check out a Lightning game. It’s a great arena, they sell out every game, energetic crowds and the best team in the NHL.

The Trop sucks in so many ways. For all the jokes, the Rays actually have a pretty good following. Their TV ratings are very good and they just signed a big new TV contract. The stadium situation really holds them back on the attendance front.

Edit: or just what Redhawks said!
 

charlieoscar

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The Trop sucks in so many ways.
It was originally built to attract the Chicago White Sox in the event that the aging Comiskey Park in Chicago wasn't replaced. Illinois and Chicago eventually agreed to build a new park in 1989 and the Trop was finished in 1990 but had to wait for a baseball team until MLB expanded to the Tampa Bay area (1995) and the field underwent repairs and expansion, finally hosting the opening game in 1998. I remember driving past it on occasions when I went to spring training in the early '90s.
 

Moviegoer

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Portland?
I remember visiting a friend in Portland for the weekend a few years ago. I mentioned that they were a likely landing spot for an MLB team, probably the Rays. He took it as a threat.
I don't think Portland is a good place for baseball. Though maybe that's just the paradigm of folks I was hanging with up there.
And besides, moving the Rays to Montreal will avoid another embarrassing and bad for TV division set up, like the Braves and Reds in the NL West.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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And besides, moving the Rays to Montreal will avoid another embarrassing and bad for TV division set up, like the Braves and Reds in the NL West.
I expect they'd realign the AL if the Rays moved west. Shift one of the Texas teams to the central and move the Indians or Tigers to the east. It might fuck up some "natural" rivalries, but I have to think they'd prefer not to have teams doubling and tripling up on cross country road trips.
 

charlieoscar

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I mentioned that they were a likely landing spot for an MLB team, probably the Rays. He took it as a threat.
I don't think Portland is a good place for baseball.
The owner of the Portland Beavers was awarded an MLS franchise and planned to use PGE Park as its field. He ended up selling the Beavers after no agreement was reached for a new park for the club. From 2005-09, the Beavers averaged pretty steadily around 5,300 per game.

Our baseball group had its annual minor-league weekend in Portland in 2009 and PGE Park ranks right up there with my favorite places to see a baseball game.
 

Zososoxfan

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Isn’t the stadium a combo of terrible traffic and just being a dump?
It’s a dump that feels sterile and is poorly located. St Pete is a GREAT city. Walkable, lots of independently owned businesses and restaurants, tons of great breweries, etc. it’s just not that big and the downtown isn’t the business hub that downtown Tampa is. More importantly still, although the greater Tampa area is urban sprawl, the center is downtown Tampa, not st Pete.
 

koufax32

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It’s a dump that feels sterile and is poorly located. St Pete is a GREAT city. Walkable, lots of independently owned businesses and restaurants, tons of great breweries, etc. it’s just not that big and the downtown isn’t the business hub that downtown Tampa is. More importantly still, although the greater Tampa area is urban sprawl, the center is downtown Tampa, not st Pete.
To pile on it’s in a terrible part of the area, probably the only semi-dangerous place in St. P.
For people who have never been to the trop, if Olympic Stadium in Montreal was an F the Trop would be a D or D-.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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I’ve been to that dump many times. It’s a truly awful place to watch a game. The Sternberg Group has improved it quite a bit over Naimoli but you can only put so much lipstick on a pig that ugly. The location is bad in general for the area.
 

Ale Xander

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With the reduction in capacity, will they take a portion of the parking lot and develop something on it? Just way too much empty space on non-game days.
 

Zososoxfan

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With the reduction in capacity, will they take a portion of the parking lot and develop something on it? Just way too much empty space on non-game days.
Funny enough, the City of St. Pete has already made the argument that the land would be more valuable if it was redeveloped than as a stadium. And although there are some shady parts near the stadium, the strip of bars, restaurants, and shops along Central Ave. is among the best in all of the greater Tampa area. If you're a beer aficionado, it doesn't get much better than Green Bench, although distance being a nonfactor, I prefer Cycle.
 

Ale Xander

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I saw those. I think they need some to be 1 or 2 blocks over. That's an awfully big stadium on the outside for the seats it has. Looks a bit too much like Alamodome for my tastes on the outside.

People living in Boston take it for granted, but having Game On, Cask, Landsdowne Bar, etc. (and more so, Bleacher Bar) be literally next to Fenway is part of the charm for visitors.
 

Nevermore

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Apr 12, 2009
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I wonder if Omaha could be an option for the Rays? It already has TD Ameritrade park, a nice new facility located downtown where they play the College World Series (which admittedly creates a two week scheduling conflict). It's right on the western border of Iowa, so you'd attract baseball fans from at least two states. Omaha has also supported a AAA team for several years.

The closest MLB team is Kansas City (three hours away), so shifting the team to the NL Central with the Cubs would help (maybe move the Brewers to the AL Central and the Tigers to the AL East?).

Kansas City and Detroit will be playing a regular season game at Amertrade this season (link) which will be interesting.
 

Ale Xander

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I wonder if Omaha could be an option for the Rays? It already has TD Ameritrade park, a nice new facility located downtown where they play the College World Series (which admittedly creates a two week scheduling conflict). It's right on the western border of Iowa, so you'd attract baseball fans from at least two states. Omaha has also supported a AAA team for several years.

The closest MLB team is Kansas City (three hours away), so shifting the team to the NL Central with the Cubs would help (maybe move the Brewers to the AL Central and the Tigers to the AL East?).

Kansas City and Detroit will be playing a regular season game at Amertrade this season (link) which will be interesting.
I don't see any way in hell MLB would have the 2 smallest MLB markets next to each other. No way KC allows this, the eastern front is tough enough for them. A war for fans on two sides for KC would be extremely tough. Omaha Metro only has 900K people.
 

charlieoscar

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The closest MLB team is Kansas City (three hours away),
Haven't looked recently but back in 1994 our group decided to have its annual baseball weekend in Kansas City. Things were set up before the strike was called and there wan't enough time to redo things, so we met there. The closest minor league team was at least two hours away, so it was a weekend without baseball.
 

soxhop411

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So yah. I think the rays have an Attendance problem

5,786 at tonight’s game. Which is the smallest crowd EVER at the trop.


Also. Updated thread title.