For all of you that are followers of DRaysBay, you've probably seen my username floating around in comment sections and on the occasional FanPost. My actual name, though, is Steve Slowinski and I'm going to be helping Tommy and RJ out on the weekends with a post or two. Also, once the season gets closer, I'm planning on writing a series of articles focusing mainly on attendance, which I've already posted a few FanPosts about in the past (available here and here). I hope to use many of the same statistical principles that this site uses for baseball stats and apply them to attendance figures to evaluate how the Rays are currently drawing. Some examples of stuff I hope to do:
- Look at how much the day of the week and quality of opponent influence attendance, isolating these variables from each other if possible
- Isolate how other variables might affect attendance, like day/night games, holidays, give-aways and promotions, and whatever else comes to mind.
- Create attendance estimates for each game, which will probably take some time to get refined and actually accurate.
- Historical comparisons of the Rays and other teams
That may seem like a lot of time dedicated to attendance, but I'm going to try not to make it overwhelming and hopefully the results will be rather interesting. The Rays' attendance this year is vitally important to them being able to field a competitive team and to lock players like Price and Upton up long term, which I think we all realize. Hopefully it won't end up being something to worry about, but if the pundits do end up chiming in again this year about how our attendance sucks, I'm hoping to be able to use this work to shove their arguments back down their throats. We've had a lot of rough years of attendance due to our franchise having no history of winning, but things have definitely changed. And as RJ pointed out, hey, at least we've never been as bad as these guys.