Monday, July 6, 2015

Tampa Bay Rays Attendance Review: June 2015

Welcome to our third monthly review of the Tampa Rays 2015 attendance. This post will look at attendance in games played from June 9, 2015 to June 30, 2015.
  • Total June 2015 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 231,702
  • June 2015 Home Games: 16
  • Average attendance per game: 14,481
  • Highest attendance: 23,876 on June 27
  • Lowest attendance: 10,088 on June 10th
  • Average June game time (9 inning games only): 2 hours, 52 minutes
  • Highest attended series: 21,115 per game vs Red Sox, June 26-28
  • Lowest attended series: 10,828 per game vs Angels, June 9-11
  • Competing events:
    • Tampa Bay Lightning home games: June 3, 14, 17
    • Tampa Bay Storm home game: June 12
    • Tampa Bay Rowdies: June 6
  • Total Tampa Bay Minor League Baseball June attendance: 74,434
  • Tampa Bay Minor League attendance per game: 1,378 (54 games)

Since 2007, average June attendance has been 9.6% below the annual average (18,511 vs 20,145). By average, June is the Rays second worst drawing month, only behind May.

Comparing June 2015 with previous years

The following chart compares June 2015 average attendance to average June attendance in recent years.

June 2015 per game average attendance was 1% worse (147 fans per game) than the June 2014 per game average. June 2015 was the worst June per game average since 2007 (13,999 per game). Perhaps the 14,000 level is the bottom threshold, given the current attraction and marketing of the team.

Weekdays vs Weekends

Let's now look at the Rays June attendance on weekdays (Mon-Thurs) and weekends (Fri-Sun). As I have pointed out before, the Rays usually have one of the biggest differences in Major League Baseball in regards to weekday versus weekend attendance.

This graph shows the Rays average weekday attendance in June since 2007.

The first thing we see in this chart is 2008. It sticks out like a sore thumb. But if we look at the chart above, we see the Rays only played 4 weekday games at home in 2008. These games included three highly attended interleague games against the Cubs and one interdivision game against the Red Sox.

After 2008, however, average June weekday attendance has been no higher than 20,000. Since 2011, Rays weekday attendance in June has decreased every year. Weekday attendance in May 2015 was the lowest since averaging 10,695 on June weekdays in 2005.

Despite the decrease, the Rays actually saw an increase in average weekday attendance since May 2015.
  • May 2015 weekday average attendance: 10,515
  • June 2015 weekday average attendance: 11,670

The following chart shows Rays average weekend attendance in June since 2007.

The following graph depicts the chart:

Finally, some good news. The Rays average June weekend attendance increased over 2,000 fans per game from 2014 to 2015. If we look at the weekend schedule, we can perhaps get an idea why. In 2014, the Rays played three games each versus Seattle and Houston on June weekends. In 2015, their opponents were the White Sox and Red Sox. While the average attendance of the White Sox series was nearly equal to the Mariners series, attendance for the series against the Red Sox was far better than attendance for the 2014 series against the Astros.

However, while attendance did increase on the weekends from 2014 to 2015, the Rays did have their biggest difference in weekend to weekday average June attendance since before 2007. A well-attended Red Sox series on the weekend surely helped, but since 2012, the Red Sox have not been the draw they once were.


As I predicted, June attendance was better than May attendance. That was sort of a no-brainer, being that hockey season finally ended and after a pay period or two, fans started to have money to spend on baseball. Fortunately for the Rays, since 2007, July has been one of the best months for attendance. A caveat, however: in 2013 and 2014, July's average attendance was not greater than April's. Since this year's April average attendance was 17,545, that might not be a good omen for the Rays marketing team.

Another factor worth watching will be how the Rays marketing and sales changes following the resignation of long-time Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Mark Fernandez. Will there be any changes to processes and procedures with Fernandez's departure?

The Rays still do have VP Marketing and Entertainment Darcy Raymond, VP Sales and Service Brian Richeson, and VP of Strategy and Development Bill Walsh. All of these VPs have been with the team since at least 2007.