Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tampa Bay Rays Attendance Review: September 2015

Welcome to our sixth and final monthly review of the Tampa Bay Rays 2015 attendance. This post will look at attendance in games played from September 11, 2015 to September 30, 2015.
  • Total September 2015 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 163,423
  • September 2015 Home Games: 12
  • Average attendance per game: 13,619
  • Highest attendance: 20,698 on September 12th
  • Lowest attendance: 9,150 on September 29th
  • Average September game time (9 inning games only): 2 hours, 58 minutes
  • Highest attended series: 16,965 per game vs Red Sox, September 11-13
  • Lowest attended series: 9,291 per game vs Marlins, September 29-September 30
  • Competing sporting events:
  • Total September Tampa Bay Minor League Baseball attendance: 20,281
  • Tampa Bay Minor League attendance per game: 2,028 (10 games)

From 2007 to 2014, average September attendance has been slightly above the annual average (20,209 vs 20,145).

Since 2008, Rays attendance in September has been related to their playoff chances. In 2008 and 2010 - years the Rays made the playoffs - September was the best attended month the season. In 2011 and 2013 - also years the Rays made the playoffs - September was the third most attended month of the season. In years the Rays were out of contention, Rays attendance in September was either fifth (2012, 2014, 2015) or the worst attended month of the year (2009).

Comparing September 2015 with previous years

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

September 2015 per game average attendance was 18% worse (3,170 fans per game) than September 2014 per game average. September 2015 was the worst September per game average since 2004.

The following chart depicts games played in September, wins and losses, and the average September attendance since 2007.

Weekdays vs Weekends

Let's now look at the Rays September 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 chart shows the Rays average weekday attendance in September since 2007.

The following graph depicts the above chart.

After three years of relative stability in the 15,000 range, 2015 attendance saw a considerable drop.

Looking at weekday attendance month-to-month, the Rays saw the average weekday attendance drop slightly between August and September 2015. 848 fewer fans per game saw the Rays during the week in September than August.
  • August 2015 weekday average attendance: 12,011
  • September 2015 weekday average attendance: 11,163

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

The following graph depicts the chart:

Again, 2015 attendance is the lowest on the graph. But 2013 also stands out. The Rays only played one weekend series in 2013, and it drew well. So definitely a small sample size.

We also see a lot of variance in the weekend-to-weekday percentage in September. This might be a combination of two factors: weekday attendance gets better when the Rays are in contention and the Rays play AL East opponents in September, and the Yankees and Red Sox used to be big attractions in the Tampa Bay area.


September capped off a terrible year for Rays attendance. The fact that the Rays were not in contention did not help either. Outside of promotions, casual fans had few reasons to visit Tropicana Field. As I predicted, September attendance was better than May, but I was wrong in that it was not better than June.

Adding the final regular season games played in October to September would also not help much. The Rays October average attendance was 15,276. Adding the October games to the September average only increases the average attendance for the month by 300 fans per game.

Keeping fan interest into September is always a difficult task, especially when a team is not in contention. For Rays, however, far too many fans opted to do something else instead of go to Tropicana Field.