Is Dickie V. right? Was last night’s Rays attendance ‘pathetic’?

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The following is cross-posted with permission of Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium blog.

Last night’s Rays/Yankees game drew a reported crowd of just 15,331, prompting the likes of Dick Vitale to tweet:

C’mon Dickie V, that’s no way to support your team. Plus, he must not have noticed the White Sox’ crowd of 14,950 or the Orioles’ crowd of 11,168.  Or the crowds of 18,000-or-so at the new Reds’ and Padres’ parks.

In fact, through the first three-plus weeks of the season, the Rays rank 22nd in the league in attendance with 21,904 a game. That’s down about 1,100 from the same point last year, but the entire league average is down as well.

The Marlins, 27th in the league, are down 10,588 fans a game to just 19,586 on average – right in line with Maury Brown’s bold 2013 prediction that the team would fail to sell out a single game and mark the biggest second-season drop in modern stadium history.

Then, Oakland, fighting its own Stadium Saga, is down 4,300 fans a game to just 19,309.

Seattle, with its great stadium, stadium location, and fireballer Felix Hernandez, is down a few thousand from last year to just 18,532 a game.

And Cleveland, benefitting from better April weather, is actually up a hair from last year, drawing 15,195 per game.

It’s a good thing MLB is relying more on television revenues this year because it seems the league’s trend of setting attendance records each season may be coming to an end. Either way, it would be a safe bet to say the Rays’ will be able to stay out of the league’s attendance cellar in 2013. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.