Rays no longer last in attendance (thank goodness for the Marlins)

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Editor’s note: The following is cross-posted from Noah Pransky’s award-winning Shadow of the Stadium blog.

It may have taken a $2 kids night, a Joe Maddon Gnome giveaway, and the World Champion Giants visiting, but the Rays have posted four straight strong showings at the gate, including Sunday’s sellout win.  (It doesn’t hurt there was some great baseball and the Rays keep on winning)

The team’s season average is now up to 18,476, which is a few hundred fans a game more than the 30th-ranked Marlins, but still far below last year’s average at this point of 20,647.

There are certainly signs if the Rays can keep up their unbelievable play that they could continue to grow their audience into the fall.  But a lot of that depends on the buzz around the Buccaneers and Lightning, too.

No matter how you slice it, at least the Rays aren’t getting the kind of press the Marlins are: disappointing news on the ballfield and embarrassing news in the stands.

For those of you keeping score at home – like Maury Brown with the Biz of Baseball – the Marlins are just a touch in front of the 1999 Rays in the hotly-contested race for worst-sophomore season in a new ballpark.

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.