The following chart depicts the 22 times the Rays drew less than 10,000 since 2007.
Rays attendance failed to reach 10,000 fans the following amount of times per year:
- 2007: 15
- 2012: 4
- 2013: 1
- 2014: 1
- 2015: 1
Rays attendance failed to reach 10,000 on the following days of the week:
- Monday: 6
- Tuesday: 6
- Wednesday: 4
- Thursday: 5
- Friday: 1
Rays attendance failed to reach 10,000 during the following months:
- April: 4 (2014 x 1, 2012 x 1, 2007 x 4)
- May: 10 (2015 x 1, 2013 x 1, 2012 x 2, 2007 x 6)
- June: 1 (2007 x 1)
- July: 2 (2007 x 1)
- August: 3 (2012 x 1, 2007 x 2)
- September: 2 (2007 x 2)
The Tampa Bay Lightning played on the following dates:
- April 16, 2007 - attendance: 9,157 (Lightning Playoff)
- April 3, 2014 - attendance: 9,571
- May 7, 2015 - attendance 8,701 (Lightning Playoff)
On May 3 and May 4, 2011, Rays attendance was 37% below the average daily attendance. Both of these games coincided with Lightning playoff games.
On May 7, 2015, Rays attendance was 37% below the Rays weekday attendance average. This game also coincided with a Lightning playoff game.
In 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup. During their playoff run, six games coincided with then-Devil Rays games.
- Saturday, April 10 vs Baltimore (Attendance: 14,093)
- Friday, April 16 (Attendance: 12,108)
- Tuesday, May 18 (Attendance: 12,836)
- Saturday, May 22 (Attendance: 12,008)
- Tuesday, May 25 (Attendance: 8,571)
- Thursday, May 27 (Attendance: 10,570)
With such a long history of attendance conflict due to Lightning games, I wonder if the Rays front office calculates potential attendance with and without scheduled Lightning games.
Even with a Lightning game scheduled, the Rays rarely schedule additional promotions. They do not try to directly compete with the Lightning.
One idea might be for the Rays to eliminate parking cost on days the Lightning play. That might draw more people to Tropicana Field. Or the Rays could do $1 hotdog night or kids get in half price. Anything to bring in fans.
The next time a member of the local media interviews the Rays front office, I hope they would ask questions about these types of issues. The Rays are losing this battle. Are they ok with losing money for the sake of the greater "Team Tampa Bay"?
What goes through the mind of Stu Sternberg and his front office when the Rays attendance is far below average? Do they think a new stadium would prevent cannibalism from the Lightning?
How else can the Rays mitigate the Lightning Effect?