Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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squirrel
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Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by squirrel »

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/article1195248.ece
As the owner, I could have affected things today. Today, and a couple of games where a thumper would thump. I could decide to mortgage the future and trade all the young guys, but the truth is that we would only get $9.82 extra at the gate. So what's the sense?
Winning hasn't produced more fans in Tampa. Of course, he's been trying to get a new stadium, which though trivial, does seem to positively influence attendance.

If the Tampa Bay area wants to keep its team and successful franchise, it needs to get its act together.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by tknup »

If fans don't show up then there is no reason to "force" them with a new stadium.

Teams like Tampa and Pittsburgh need to be eliminated sooner than later.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by tribecalledquest »

tknup wrote:If fans don't show up then there is no reason to "force" them with a new stadium.

Teams like Tampa and Pittsburgh need to be eliminated sooner than later.
TKNUP...I agree with Tampa but not Pittsburgh. Actually, it should be the other Florida team--but can't now because they are getting a new stadium. Pittsburgh has tradition and a long, long, long time fan base. The expansion into Florida was a mistake.

Why not just retract Tampa? Montreal was a better baseball city than Tampa.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by squirrel »

tribecalledquest wrote:
tknup wrote:If fans don't show up then there is no reason to "force" them with a new stadium.

Teams like Tampa and Pittsburgh need to be eliminated sooner than later.
TKNUP...I agree with Tampa but not Pittsburgh. Actually, it should be the other Florida team--but can't now because they are getting a new stadium. Pittsburgh has tradition and a long, long, long time fan base. The expansion into Florida was a mistake.

Why not just retract Tampa? Montreal was a better baseball city than Tampa.
I think the arguments are a bit more nuanced than "this way" or "that city."

I do think MLB made a mistake going to Miami first, because of the stadium situation. Yeah Tropicana is a dump, but 20 years ago it was in place for baseball before expansion occurred and considered modern. TB was baseball-ready, Miami wasn't. At the same time, I don't fault MLB for wanting a team in Miami. By the time TB did get its club, stadium situations for most of MLB had already changed in that 15 or so year window of the facility's existence and the Marlins had just won a World Series, so the potential market for uncommitted fans was significantly smaller. On the other hand, the Marlins fire sale destroyed the loyalty of their own fan base. However, their re-booting worked and they won yet another WS in less than 8 years. That brought some fans back, but not a lot.

As I've alluded to in other threads, and I'll re-post it here because it is relevant to the argument, Florida in a 10-year span went from being the largest market with just 2 pro franchises (both NFL) to having:

1988: Miami Heat
1989: Orlando Magic
1992: Tampa Bay Lighting
1993: Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers
1995: Jacksonville Jaguars
1996: Tampa Bay Mutiny
1998: Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Fusion

Part of the reason so many of the franchises above are struggling was due simply to too many interests competing for the same fan dollar at the same time.

But the Panthers, Jaguars, Marlins and Rays have all had major problems. There are many reasons for that. And when you are talking baseball, the disastrous strike of 1995 played a major role in severe attendance drops and probably hampered what could have been a charmed existence for baseball in Florida.

All that said, I wondered while watching the series if they had golf cart shuttles back to The Villages. Part of what is motivating the Rays desire for a new stadium is St. Petersburg provides a younger demographic that they want to tap into, which can offer long-term viability.

I also firmly believe NASCAR's huge popularity in the mid-to-late 1990's also played a major role in the Florida sports economy during this last 20 years.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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Maybe Oakland. They want to move to San Jose.

The number of home games, then total attendance and average attendance per game for 2011.

1 Philadelphia 81 3,680,718 45,440
2 NY Yankees 81 3,653,680 45,107
3 San Francisco 81 3,387,303 41,818
4 Minnesota 81 3,168,107 39,112
5 LA Angels 81 3,166,321 39,090
6 St. Louis 81 3,093,954 38,196
7 Milwaukee 81 3,071,373 37,918
8 Boston 81 3,054,001 37,703
9 Chicago Cubs 81 3,017,966 37,258
10 Texas 81 2,946,949 36,382
11 LA Dodgers 81 2,935,139 36,236
12 Colorado 81 2,909,777 35,923
13 Detroit 81 2,642,045 32,617
14 NY Mets 79 2,378,549 30,108
15 Atlanta 79 2,372,940 30,037
16 Cincinnati 81 2,213,498 27,327
17 San Diego 81 2,143,018 26,457
18 Arizona 81 2,105,432 25,992
19 Houston 81 2,067,016 25,518
20 Washington 78 1,940,478 24,877
21 Chicago White Sox 81 2,001,117 24,705
22 Pittsburgh 80 1,940,429 24,255
23 Seattle 81 1,896,321 23,411
24 Cleveland 81 1,840,835 22,726
25 Toronto 81 1,818,103 22,445
26 Baltimore 80 1,755,461 21,943
27 Kansas City 81 1,724,450 21,289
28 Florida 80 1,520,562 19,007
29 Tampa Bay 81 1,529,188 18,878
30 Oakland 81 1,476,792 18,232
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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WHY?????? Why does Tknup HATE the Bucs? Don't get it....
I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I will not mention Tknup....I wiill not mention Tknup.....
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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The Pirates by being contenders into July saw a 22% increase in attendance this year.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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It appears too many teams are in close proximity in parts of California.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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tknup wrote:It appears too many teams are in close proximity in parts of California.
In terms of overall paid attendance, here are the ranks of the California MLB clubs for 2011:

3. Giants
5. Angels
11. Dodgers
17. Padres
30. A's (did see a 4% increase this year)

Only the Angels and Dodgers had lower paid attendances than 2010.

Perhaps the most troubling number I saw for the Rays today was also a 35% drop in TV viewership this season.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by Arthur Digby Sellers »

The Rays are in a tough position, but, unlike most other professional sports teams, a new stadium just might help them out. Currently, the Rays play their games in the drab, insipid, ugly confines known as Tropicana Field. Jonah Keri, in his book The Extra 2%, looked into the reasons for the low attendance numbers, and the stadium is largely to blame.

The stadium itself, catwalks and all, is an eyesore; and it is a hindrance to attendance figures for numerous reasons -- besides how ugly it is. The stadium is located in St. Petersburg -- instead of Tampa -- which is not centrally located in the Tampa Bay area. It is often hard to get to the stadium when crossing the bay (for the Tampa residents), which makes the simple commute from even Tampa arduous at times because of traffic issues and such. The problem is: The Rays have a contract with the city of St. Petersburg until 2027, meaning they would have to somehow get out of the contract in order to build a new stadium in the more highly preferred Tampa, where the population is younger and where most of the residents in the area work.

The previous owner of the Rays, Vince Naimoli, is largely to blame for the contract with St. Petersburg and the overall wretchedness of the stadium; for one, the stadium was built in 1990, and didn't house a major league baseball game until 1998. So the stadium is already pretty old by modern-day standards. Granted, the current owner, Stuart Sternberg, knew what he was getting himself into when he bought the team. But, there is good reason for him to look into building a new stadium.

A new stadium wouldn't necessarily cure all ills for the Rays; they still reside in the lowest populated metro-area in all of MLB. But, their poor attendance is certainly not a good representation of their fan interest. The Rays ranked seventh, per capita, in all of MLB in radio and TV ratings last year. It is more of a case of fans not wanting to go to that terrible stadium -- and rather sit at home and watch on TV -- than not wanting to see the Rays at all. The Pirates, on the other hand, have attendance problems because their fans don't like them.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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If you notice, Spring Training Teams are moving from Florida. Some Florida people that I talked to don't like the weather conditions, cold and windy in March. More teams and fans moving west can't help the economy and fan base.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

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While the Cubs are entertaining offers to switch from Arizona to Florida.
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Re: Rays owner warns MLB will "vaporize" team

Post by Arthur Digby Sellers »

The Cubs are actually getting closer to finalizing a deal with Mesa for a new complex. Financial issues have been holding things up for awhile, but I think the Cubs' "interest" in Florida was merely posturing to make Mesa act sooner.
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