Rays' Recent Success Hasn't Translated into Higher Attendance Numbers

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Rays' Recent Success Hasn't Translated into Higher Attendance Numbers
typical fan turnout

For every successful professional sports team, a nationwide and obscenely loyal fan base usually follows, as success translates into more fans.  The Washington Redskins continue to sellout their home games, despite having horrible seasons the past five to seven years. The Boston Red Sox sellout over 90 percent of their home games, and the Los Angeles Lakers never struggle to fill the seats.

Yet, when it comes to pro teams in the state of Florida, there is absolutely no visible proof of even a shred of team loyalty.  Just look at the Miami Heat since the arrival of LeBron James and Chris Bosh; they have stellar regular-season records, and they still can't even sellout half of their home games.  

Back in 2003 when the Marlins were still the Florida Marlins, the potential World Series-clinching game (a home game, nonetheless) wasn't even a sellout.  A team that had won a title only six years prior and on the verge of winning yet another title couldn't even attract fans to fill the seats to rally around their hometown team.

No team has struggled more to fill the seats [in Florida] than the Tampa Bay Rays.  While still a relatively young franchise, the team has had four above .500 seasons, winning two AL East titles, an ALCS title and played in the World Series in 2008.  Even with that, local fans are still hesitant to support their team, mainly because the remnants of a decade of awful baseball is still fresh in their minds.  But with a surge in success the last four years (not to mention the start they had this season), is this apprehensive approach still necessary?

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