The following is cross-posted from Noah Pransky’s award-winning Shadow of the Stadium blog.
The Tampa Bay Rays nailed down their astonishing 21st win in 25 July games last night, but with just 17,402 in attendance, they fell into 30th place in the MLB attendance standings (17,783). The Marlins, who lost again, mustering just four hits against the Mets, drew 23,408 and brought their season average up to 17,813.
It didn’t help that a nasty storm cell (featuring a waterspout) knocked out power to half of St. Petersburg last night and play was suspended at the Trop for 20 minutes. But hey, at least it wasn’t rained out, right? And at least they played Bugs Bunny:
And as much as people will point to the team’s 30th-place attendance numbers, it doesn’t necessarily mean the team is struggling. Rays Index reports that TV ratings are once again soaring:
Since April 1, Sun Sports is the no. 1 rated cable network in primetime and their ratings have risen 8% since June 28.
Playing the Red Sox and Yankees certainly helps. But these numbers show that fans are starting to get excited about this year’s club. And that could mean a surge in both the TV ratings and the attendance.