DRaysBay Fan Survey Results

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 04: Matt Moore #55 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

More words have been written about the attendance issue and the Tampa Bay Rays than I care to remember. Some pieces are fair, some are researched, and some are neither. Most turn a deaf ear to the human interest side of the story to look at why fans are not coming to games more frequently. 

Throughout the off-season, I will be doing a series of stories on the human element in this equation because that is the story that needs to be heard over the calls for contraction, relocation, or vaporization. This story is the first of such pieces as we look to collect some hard data to find out where fans currently stand in the situation regarding frequency of games attended, driving distance, driving time, and factors that are influencing their decision to go to games. The data was collected through a fan survey posted late last week that netted 498 responses. 

How many Rays baseball games did you attend in 2011?

 

  1. 0-4: 50%
  2. 5-9: 16%
  3. 10-14: 11%
  4. 20-24: 7%
  5. 15-19: 4%
  6. 25-29: 3%
There were 20 responses from individuals who attended at least 30 games this season including five responses of at least 70 games or more.

On average, how many games do you attend each season?
  1. 0-4: 36%
  2. 5-9: 22%
  3. 10-14: 14%
  4. 15-19: 8%
  5. 20-24: 8%
  6. 25-29: 4%
Three respondents reported going to at least 70 games a season while 16 reported going to at least half of the games each season.

Approximately how many miles (one-way) is it from your place of living to Tropicana Field?
  1. 30-44 miles: 20%
  2. 15-29 miles: 19%
  3. Less than 15 miles: 16%
  4. 300+ miles: 16%
  5. 45-59 miles: 10%
  6. 60-74 miles: 5%
  7. 90-104 miles: 4%
  8. 105-135 miles: 3%
  9. 75-89 miles: 2%
Just 58 people reported living less than 10 miles from Tropicana Field. When the requirement was changed to less than 20 miles from Tropicana Field, 99 responses qualified. 

How many minutes does it take you to drive from your place of living to Tropicana Field?
  1. 40-59 minutes: 20%
  2. 60-79 minutes: 18%
  3. 20-39 minutes: 16%
  4. 300 or more minutes: 14%
  5. 0-19 minutes: 13%
  6. 80-99 minutes: 6%
  7. 120-139 minutes: 4%
The 4th rating was included to show the amount of interest outside of the market as some responders noted they make road trips from their out-of-state location to see the Rays play.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being most ideal and 10 being least ideal, how much does Tropicana Field's location affect your decision to attend games?
  1. 10: 22%
  2. 1: 21%
  3. 8: 16%
  4. 7: 10%
  5. 5: 9%
  6. 3: 6%
  7. 9: 4%
  8. 2: 4%
  9. 6: 4%
  10. 4: 3%
257 out of the 498 responses (52%) answered 7 or higher to this question. 325 (65%)of the responses ranked Tropicana Field's location at five or higher.

On a scale of 1-10, how fair do you find the Rays' ticket prices to be? (results clouded due to 1-10 scale not being clearly defined)
  1. 10: 38%
  2. 8: 17%
  3. 9: 13%
  4. 7: 10%
  5. 5: 10%
  6. 1: 4%
  7. Others below 2%
I found Stu Sternberg's post-game comments about the Rays' situation personally offensive.
  1. False: 65%
  2. True: 34%
  3. Indifferent: 1%
Per person in your party, how much do you spend on admission & concession at a Rays game?
  1. $20-$39: 32%
  2. $40-$59: 27%
  3. $60-$79: 17%
  4. $0-$19: 10%
  5. $100-$119: 6%
  6. $80-$99: 4%
  7. Others below 2%
There was no mention of anyone taking advantage of the team's policy of allowing outside concessions.

I watch/listen to most of Rays games on a mobile device.
  1. True: 20%
  2. False: 80%
I watch/listen to most of Rays games on SunSports.
  1. True: 87%
  2. False: 13%
When not supporting the Rays, what other baseball team do you follow?
  1. No other team: 37%
  2. Braves: 10%
  3. Cubs: 6%
  4. Cardinals: 5%
  5. Reds: 4%
  6. Yankees: 3%
  7. Pirates: 2%
  8. Marlins: 2%
  9. Mets: 2%
  10. Phillies: 2%
  11. Indians: 2%
  12. Tigers: 2%
  13. Orioles: 2%
  14. Padres: 2%
  15. Rockies: 2%
  16. Rangers: 2%
  17. Twins: 2%
  18. Giants: 2%
  19. White Sox: 2%
  20. Astros: 2%
  21. Red Sox: 2%
  22. Durham Bulls: 2%
Tampa Bay Bucs & Lightning games impact how many Rays games you attend each season.
  1. True: 7%
  2. False: 93%
What do you consider your primary deterrent to attending Rays games?
  1. Location/distance: 23%
  2. Live out of state: 17%
  3. Work/College schedule: 16%
  4. Money/Economy: 10%
  5. Family obligations: 9%
  6. None: 4%
  7. Start times: 4%
  8. Team offense: 3%
  9. Tropicana Field itself: 3%
  10. Limited transportation options: 3%
  11. Ticket prices/surcharge: 3%
  12. Parking prices: 1%
  13. Television: 1%
  14. Ownership: 1%
Several respondents mentioned early start times in April and May as a major deterrent as they work on the other side of the bay and it was too much to get to an early start time. Others mentioned a "boring" offense in home games, irritation at the visiting team's fans, and the ease of games on television all factoring in their gameday decisions.

What could the Rays do to guarantee your increased attendance? (responses displayed in no particular order)
  • Lower ticket prices
  • Increase promotional efforts
  • Drop same-day walk-up fee on ticket purchases
  • Public transportation options from other side of the bay
  • Move to Channelside
  • Move to Gandy & 4th St area
  • More ticket specials
  • Stadium in downtown Tampa
  • Eliminate the 6:40 start times
  • Nothing that the team is not already doing
  • Indoor fireworks
  • Move stadium to East Hillsborough County
  • Better product promotion
  • Get a new stadium
  • Relocate to (insert multiple markets here)
  • Discount season tickets more than they currently are
  • Learn lessons from how the Tampa Bay Lightning treat their fans
  • Better deals for 300 level seating
  • Make the TBT Party Deck "the place to be" with lower ticket prices & unique concessions
  • More college nights
  • Free parking
  • Lower concession prices
  • More day games
  • Sign some hitters
  • Increase payroll
  • Helicopter rides across the bay
  • More creative season ticket packages
  • Cheaper parking
  • Do not leave St. Petersburg
  • Distribute more free & reduced tickets to Little Leagues well in advance of games so families can plan accordingly
  • Change the tiered pricing plan to 2 levels or no levels.
  • Bring back dollar hot dog night
  • Have the stadium somewhere in Tampa
  • Stop whining about attendance
  • The team has done everything I can reasonably ask for
  • Treat season ticket holders better, as good as the Lightning treat theirs.
  • Retain the good players
  • More corporate support
  • "They do a pretty damn good job of getting me there. If they lower concessions, I'd get season tickets"
  • Shuttle service from all Rays-controlled lots
  • $3 beers
  • Be more understanding of the local economy
  • Better options for the physically-handicapped
  • Get a time machine and go back and draft Buster Posey
What is your zip code?

The following Florida zip codes were represented in the responses:

30306 31909 32065 32159 32210 32217 32223 32250 32256 32266 32301 32303 32601 32603 32605 32608 32612 32703 32707 32751 32779 32792 32803 32804 32817 32819 32820 32822 32824 32826 32839 32909 33099 33146 33157 33401 33418 33441 33462 33510 33511 33525 33527 33534 33538 33540 33542 33543 33544 33545 33549 33556 33558 33559 33563 33565 33566 33569 33570 33578 33579 33584 33594 33596 33598 33602 33603 33604 33606 33607 33609 33611 33612 33613 33614 33615 33616 33617 33618 33619 33624 33625 33626 33629 33637 33647 33701 33702 33703 33704 33705 33706 33707 33708 33709 33710 33711 33712 33713 33714 33715 33716 33755 33756 33759 33760 33761 33762 33763 33764 33765 33770 33772 33774 33775 33776 33777 33778 33781 33782 33785 33803 33811 33812 33813 33823 33830 33853 33860 33872 33876 33880 33881 33884 33897 33901 33907 33912 33950 33955 34134 34135 34202 34203 34205 34207 34209 34210 34212 34219 34221 34222 34233 34239 34240 34242 34243 34275 34285 34287 34292 34293 34420 34446 34453 34465 34471 34472 34473 34475 34606 34609 34637 34638 34639 34652 34653 34654 34655 34667 34668 34677 34683 34684 34685 34688 34689 34691 34695 34698 34711 34734 34747 34772 34786 34787 34990 37069 37129 37604 37659  

64 of the 498 responses were from zip codes outside of the state of Florida.

What is your age?
  1. Ages 20-29: 35%
  2. Ages 30-39: 24%
  3. Ages 40-49: 15%
  4. Ages 50-59: 13%
  5. Ages 60+: 8%
  6. Ages <20: 5%
65 percent of the respondents were under the age of 40 and 41 percent were under the age of 30. 

Your household income is above the $37,400 median income for the TB area (data from most recent census).
  1. True: 76%
  2. False: 22%
  3. No response: 2%
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