I know that here on Draysbay, numbers are important. They can usually tell things about a player and give an explanation. After hearing about Stu's recent letter and how the situation is dire. I think what everyone including some of our fellow fans have forgotten is that it's not a simple "this is the problem" situation. There are many factors on why attendance issues have been happening. From not being a "legacy" fanbase like the Yankees or Red Sox, to having a "crappy" stadium, the list goes on.
I decided to take a look at some of the past ALDS figures and times because someone argued that MLB gave a late announcement on a start time and fans couldn't get off work. Considering the economic times we are in, it probably is best if we fans kept our butts working instead of trying to get off for every game. Not saying we shouldn't have tried, but just that I can understand not wanting to risk it.
Here are the results that I found for start times at the Trop and attendance figures:
Game 1 2:30 p.m.
Game 2 6:00 p.m.
Game 1 1:37 p.m.
Game 2 2:37 p.m.
Game 5 8:07 p.m.
Game 3 5:07 p.m.
Game 4 2:07 p.m.
Now looking at these numbers, I noticed a trend. Any game that started around 3 and closer to 4 would draw around 30,000 plus and even more. Those aren't unrealistic numbers to achieve and the Rays drew a fair amount of people when those times happened. The anomaly is the most recent Game 4 being started at 2. I know that TBS has rights to all games but TNT was running Law&Order reruns and could have had a 3:00 PM on it. Just my take on the subject.
Another thing that I looked up was the unemployment numbers in Florida since the Rays made their first post season appearance.
October 2008 7 percent
October 2010 11.9
August 2011 10.9( other months not available yet)
Although I could not find evidence of September or October for this year, I used August. What do these numbers mean? Well if you look at the attendance numbers above in correlation with the unemployment rate you can definitely see a relationship. When the unemployment rate was 7 percent the Trop had 40,000+ people at the games. Last year, unemployment was 11.9 percent and the Trop was only able to bring about 30,000+.
I know Stu is upset, and I know the fanbase is upset and the players as well, but clearly there is something more going on than just Tampa is apathetic. As a fan we hear it on all sides from the owners, players, local media, politicians and most importantly national media about how "we are bad fans and we don't do enough to show our support." The thing is, if people keep attacking the fanbase, then what we are being accused of will happen--apathy.
*editor's note, sorry for any grammar issues or if the spacing is off. I am not used to posting thing like that and didn't really know how to do a chart on here. Also thanks Sveet for the right times.