Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rays No. 1 ... in affordability

ESPN the Magazine ranked all the professional sports and found the Rays 16th in their ultimate standings.

The affordability of attending a game at the Trop carried the Rays, who improved from 75th last year.

I would question the rank of the coaching, which is 25th. After what Joe Maddon and his staff did with that team last year, I would say they deserve to be in the top-5.

Here is ESPN's run down. For more, here is a link to ESPN the Magazine ...

Last Year's Rank: 75
Title Track: 35
Ownership: 48
Coaching: 25
Players: 23
Fan Relations: 19
Affordability: 1
Stadium Experience: 106

Bang for the Buck: 21
What do you get when you charge fans the fourth-cheapest admission ($18.35) in MLB to see the defending AL Champs? A 59-slot bump in the Standings. Even with a 24.3% hike in the average fan cost per season ($2,962.35), the Rays are still the most gently priced team among the Big Four sports, thanks, in part, to free parking and programs.

But even young superstars Evan Longoria and David Price can't fill the seats at Tropicana Field. The club averaged just 22,259 fans during its 2008 World Series run and is drawing only slightly better this season. Sparse crowds are a big part of the reason fans rank the Trop's Stadium Experience so low. And plans to build a new $450 million ballpark on the waterfront in downtown St. Pete are off the table (the team is looking for alternative sites), while developers court needed public support.

Until then, don't think of the Trop as half-empty. Think of it as half-full.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Tropicana Field. Maybe it isn't as historical as Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, but it is ours and it has a roof!!!!!!!!