Rays season gets underway Monday. There's plenty of positive talk about the Rays chances in 2014. 10 News President and GM Elliott Wiser looks beyond wins to the loss of people in the seats.
Here we go. Another season where the Rays have put together a strong team for less cost than most teams. There are exciting promotions, the Trop has been spruced up. And we'll still wonder why there aren't more fans in the seats. Last year, the Rays ranked last in major league attendance, and they ranked last in average attendance per game.
I mean, come on!
The Houston Astros had a higher average attendance. The Houston Astros who were terrible. No, that's too mild. The Houston Astros who stunk up major league baseball with 111 loses and a $14 million payroll had better attendance than the Rays who won 92 games.
Tampa Bay, that's embarrassing.
You say it's too expensive to go to a game? The Rays had the third lowest fan cost index in all of baseball. By the way, those miserable Astros had the 11th highest. Can't use that as an excuse.
The Trop isn't fan friendly? Try Yankee stadium in the middle of the summer in the sun. How about Wrigley field in April? What's not fan friendly now?
Traffic, yes it's terrible. We need light rail badly, but traffic is bad everywhere in Tampa Bay. We complain about it, but we're still driving.
So the bottom line is you don't have an excuse unless you just don't like baseball. And that's a whole other topic.
This year please drop the excuses and get to more games. This is an exciting team. They need and deserve your support. Because I'll tell you what. If the attendance doesn't get better the Rays have every right to pick up and move. And I'm not talking Tampa, because that won't make a difference. No, they have every right to move to Charlotte, Connecticut, Portland. Somewhere that an energize fan base will support a great team and dynamic organization.
Tampa Bay, no more excuses, go to more games. Support the Rays or lose them.
I'm Elliott Wiser, President and General Manager of 10 News, and that's my opinion.
So what do you think? Elliott wants to hear from you.
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