The Tampa Bay Devil Rays inception date was 1998 and here we are 10 years later one game away from a world series. The players are young, gritty and have finally shown the talent they were projected to have. The Pitching is the best the franchise has seen and the hitting is young talented, stacked and ready for years of dominance. This team has proved to be the real deal this year.
With a young talented baseball team you would think the city would support these guys a little more. Lets face it Tampa Bay is NOT a baseball city. As a matter of fact it seems like baseball is not the most popular sport in the state of Florida.
With low attendance from the Marlins to the Rays this city just doesn't show up to see these teams play. Even with the Rays having the best season in franchise history the attendance records were still awful. Not only that, but the stadium they play in is not the best looking place to play baseball. The catwalks linger over the field screws up potential home runs and high fly balls.
Just recently the Rays announced they were in negations to build a 450 million dollar park on the water front of St. Petersburg, Florida. A 34,000 seat open park they looked at building was dropped from the plans. This would have been a disaster financially if they decided to move into a new park because their fans only care about the team when they're in the playoffs.
Even when the rays put a good baseball team on the field they still can't sell out a game in the regular season. They already have the 3rd lowest price per ticket, so the money is not whats keeping the fans away from the park. The Rays fan cost index is the lowest in the majors at 137 dollars.
This is much cheaper when compared to the third-highest index with the New York Yankees at $251 for a family. The average crowd size for a Rays game increased 20% this year to 21,301 per game and did not sell out once at Tropicana Park all year. And this was with a team that stayed in first place all year.
The Boston Red Sox, the team with the highest average ticket prices ($49) and the highest fan cost index ($321), have sold out more than four hundred games in a row. Baseball is huge in Boston.
Now we see these bandwagon Tampa Bay fans coming out of their retirement homes or whatever hole they live in are now, show up to finally support the team and root them on. Whats sad is it took them the ALCS to bring out these supposed fans that are now flocking the Trop for a look at their baseball team when clearly all year they could care less.
The Tampa Bay Rays deserve everything they are getting right now, but there fans don't deserve any of this. There's no dedication except when they are in the big games.
So if you're smart and live in Tampa and have never seen your beloved Rays, do us real fans a favor and get the hell off the bandwagon because you don't deserve everything the Rays have done for your city this year. I hope for the player's sake they re-locate that team to a city who appreciates the game of baseball a little more.