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

soxhop411

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And again, this attendance issue has been going on since like 2011...

Here are the rays attendance rankings (in all of MLB since 2011)


2011-29th (1,529,188) 18,878 average
2012-30th (1,559,681) 19,255 average
2013-30th (1,510,300) 18,645 average
2014-30th (1,446,464) 17,857 average
2015-30th (1,247,668) 15,403 average
2016-30th (1,286,163) 15,878 average
2017-30th (1,253,619) 15,670 average
2018-29th (1,154,973) 14,258 average
2019-29th (364,454) 14,578 average


The last time the rays were not 29th or 30th in attendance standings?


2010... when they were 22nd (1,843,445)- 22,758


http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2009
 

Zososoxfan

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Hillsborough county recently transferred some negotiating authority to the sports authority, who has a great record and separate but related budget to play with. They need to get in or near downtown though.
 

soxhop411

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Honestly, if the rays do indeed move, I think MTL is the best option. As it allows the current MLB alignment to stay in place. If the rays moved to a place in the central or the west (like Vegas) it throws alignment out of whack.
 

yeahlunchbox

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Also they'd have ready made fan-base rivalries with Toronto and Boston and those two teams plus the Yankees would help attendence for almost 30 out of 81 home dates
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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When the Rays move, the expansion talk can begin. I think that the Rays move to either Montreal, Nashville or Portland. Expansion takes care of the other two cities with Raleigh/Charlotte and Vegas being the backups.
 

lostjumper

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Honestly, if the rays do indeed move, I think MTL is the best option. As it allows the current MLB alignment to stay in place. If the rays moved to a place in the central or the west (like Vegas) it throws alignment out of whack.
If the Ray's were to move out west to Portland or Vegas, you could move them to the west, Houston to the Central, and Cleveland back to the East. It would actually work pretty smoothly I think.
 

moondog80

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If the Ray's were to move out west to Portland or Vegas, you could move them to the west, Houston to the Central, and Cleveland back to the East. It would actually work pretty smoothly I think.
Texas doesn’t want to be the only Central (Mountain?) time zone team in the division, that’s part of the reason Houston is there in the first place.
 

nattysez

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And now for something completely different...

It seems like this would be extremely hard on the players with families. You'd basically be assured of being away from home for an extended period, either from Spring Training to when you move to Montreal, or for the whole second half of the year. Hard to imagine any FA signing up for that.

The Tampa Bay Rays have received MLB's permission to explore becoming two-city team: the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, sources tell ESPN. The plan: Play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and finish the season in Montreal.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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If they just changed their name to the Tampa Bay College Football Team, their attendance issues would be solved pretty quickly, if only until the Floridians figured out that they aren't actually a college football team.

Or the Tampa Bay 500s for the racing fans.
 
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The Allented Mr Ripley

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From the article:

Under the plan, the Rays would play in new stadiums in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, according to sources. The ability to play games early in the season in Florida would preclude the need for a domed stadium, cutting the cost of a new building. A month ago, Bronfman -- who along with Montreal businessman Mitch Garber has expressed interest in taking a minority stake in the Rays alongside owner Stuart Sternberg -- reached an agreement with a developer on a site in Montreal's Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood to potentially build a new stadium. The number of home games each city would receive has not been determined, according to sources.
This doesn't make a lick of sense. It's tough enough to get a stadium built even with the financial promise of 81 home dates, now they think they'll get two stadia built, each with ~40 games? BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAAAHAHAHAH
 

bsj

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Seriously though. What would they be called? The Tampa Bay-Montreal Rays? The only way this is dumber is if they keep the name Tampa Bay Rays and expect Montreal to embrace the team as anyhting more than a novelty.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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This is being floated by TBR/MLB as a threat. Either it scares the city/county/state into coughing up public dough for a full-time stadium in Tampa, or the groundwork is laid for permanent exit to Montreal. From the Rays' standpoint, there's no downside.
 

Number45forever

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This is so dumb. What do the players do...rent houses in both cities? The Rays are full of players not exactly making a fortune, that won't go over well with the fanbase. Plus, they all have families. Home for 40 games per season with the family instead of 81?

Dumb. Just move to Montreal.
 

jon abbey

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Nate Silver points out there aren't even any direct flights between Tampa and Montreal.
 

Awesome Fossum

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I think this is being misreported. The plan is to start the season in Tampa Bay but then spend the summer sailing the stadium north to Montreal, docking right around September 1.

 

Ale Xander

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This is being floated by TBR/MLB as a threat. Either it scares the city/county/state into coughing up public dough for a full-time stadium in Tampa, or the groundwork is laid for permanent exit to Montreal. From the Rays' standpoint, there's no downside.
The Gulf side of FL is very tight with purse strings. That threat was bluff-called "yesterday." Only way there's a new "public-funded "Rays stadium in FL is with a Vegas-type tourist tax like the GK/Raiders have.
 

BoSox Rule

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This is never going to happen for a bunch of reasons, but it’s legitimately the worst idea I have ever heard.
 

E5 Yaz

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Adding a direct flight during the season is not an insurmountable obstacle
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Contraction should be the solution. New stadiums are not going to change the reality that these are two markets that didn’t and won’t support professional baseball.
 

Seabass177

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Look, I'm not saying this is realistic, but the Tampareal ExRays rolls off the tongue shockingly well.

Secondly, this is a great tweet:

The plan? Build two new publicly financed stadiums 1,500 miles apart so loyal fans in Tampa don't have to foot the bill for a dome
24917
 

MiracleOfO2704

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This is being floated by TBR/MLB as a threat. Either it scares the city/county/state into coughing up public dough for a full-time stadium in Tampa, or the groundwork is laid for permanent exit to Montreal. From the Rays' standpoint, there's no downside.
Bingo. This didn’t work at the beginning of the century with the Expos stuck between Montreal and San Juan, and they’re only floating it because they know there’s an undercurrent of work to bring a team back to La Belle Provence.

Contraction should be the solution. New stadiums are not going to change the reality that these are two markets that didn’t and won’t support professional baseball.
That’s a bit misleading for both cities. Montreal had poor ownership post-Bronfman and could never overcome the Olympic Stadium disaster, plus they played in an era without Rogers and a weaker TSN. Tampa pulls great TV numbers but can’t get people to come to their garbage stadium and can’t convince Tampa to build them a stadium in a neighbourhood that’ll make it work.
 

joe dokes

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At least since the KC-Omaha Kings
Maybe they could get ex-KCO coach Bob Cousy to manage the Florida swing. I think he lives nearby, and could give the youngsters salient tips on playing home games in two cities.
 

E5 Yaz

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I think this is being misreported. The plan is to start the season in Tampa Bay but then spend the summer sailing the stadium north to Montreal, docking right around September 1.

I think my favorite part of the saga in Tampa Bay (same goes for Oakland) is that it has given architectural firms free reign to design stadiums they know will never come to fruition, so they can go all-out


The "Boston Dome" is a riot
 

Hoya81

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First I’ve ever read of the Boston Dome, although it looks like it was the 60’s version of the Megaplex.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Bingo. This didn’t work at the beginning of the century with the Expos stuck between Montreal and San Juan, and they’re only floating it because they know there’s an undercurrent of work to bring a team back to La Belle Provence.



That’s a bit misleading for both cities. Montreal had poor ownership post-Bronfman and could never overcome the Olympic Stadium disaster, plus they played in an era without Rogers and a weaker TSN. Tampa pulls great TV numbers but can’t get people to come to their garbage stadium and can’t convince Tampa to build them a stadium in a neighbourhood that’ll make it work.
Yeah, I think this ends up with the Rays just moving to Montréal. It’s the biggest market in US or Canada without a team (and no market is really close to its size, Monterrey or Mexico City excepted) and there’s three billionaires, one whose dad founded the Expos. They have local grease too, the previous legit Expos superfan mayor (he would throw out the first ball at the preseason games in ratty old jackets and hats that were clearly his) got voted out for a new mayor who opposed public funding for a stadium. She meets the ownership group one weekend and she’s getting her picture taken with an Expos hat on swinging a bat and walking back her previous statements about stadium funding, saying when there’s a will there’s a way. They’re serious and they’re going to get this done if MLB wants them to have a team, which looks increasingly likely.

Plus the Expos are content and with Rogers still having the NHL and Jays for years to come, TSN and Bell Media would love to invest. Canada needs a team as anti-matter to Toronto, since lots of Canadians love to root against Toronto.
 

The Gray Eagle

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They should just play all road games. They can bat first half the time and last half the time. All the other teams would benefit by selling more tickets and concessions, and having less travel expenses.
They could be called the Globetrotters. Pay their players a little more to make up for all the travel. For more revenue, create an animated TV series where the players and their dog travel around in a bus solving mysteries.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Yeah, I think this ends up with the Rays just moving to Montréal. It’s the biggest market in US or Canada without a team (and no market is really close to its size, Monterrey or Mexico City excepted) and there’s three billionaires, one whose dad founded the Expos. They have local grease too, the previous legit Expos superfan mayor (he would throw out the first ball at the preseason games in ratty old jackets and hats that were clearly his) got voted out for a new mayor who opposed public funding for a stadium. She meets the ownership group one weekend and she’s getting her picture taken with an Expos hat on swinging a bat and walking back her previous statements about stadium funding, saying when there’s a will there’s a way. They’re serious and they’re going to get this done if MLB wants them to have a team, which looks increasingly likely.

Plus the Expos are content and with Rogers still having the NHL and Jays for years to come, TSN and Bell Media would love to invest. Canada needs a team as anti-matter to Toronto, since lots of Canadians love to root against Toronto.
I should also look into the deal for the French language rights for the Jays. Another difference between 2001 and now is another major Francophone sports broadcaster (TVA Sports), so the old days of taking whatever dirt deal CBC or TSN offered with zero French language coverage are likely dead.
 

joe dokes

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They should just play all road games. They can bat first half the time and last half the time. All the other teams would benefit by selling more tickets and concessions, and having less travel expenses.
They could be called the Globetrotters. Pay their players a little more to make up for all the travel. For more revenue, create an animated TV series where the players and their dog travel around in a bus solving mysteries.
 

Max Power

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They should just play all road games. They can bat first half the time and last half the time. All the other teams would benefit by selling more tickets and concessions, and having less travel expenses.
They could be called the Globetrotters. Pay their players a little more to make up for all the travel. For more revenue, create an animated TV series where the players and their dog travel around in a bus solving mysteries.
The Tampa Bay Spiders?