It's been a pleasant sight to witness a strong turnout of fans through the first two series at Tropicana Field. Here are some facts and figures to put the start at the gate in perspective. First, there is year over year fact:
In 2011, the Rays opened with a 3 game weekend series against Baltimore and two hosting Anaheim. When they returned from their road trip they hosted Minnesota for a Thursday-Sunday series and the White Sox for a Monday-Thursday. It took the Rays 11 games to outdraw the 175,613 fans drawn through the first six games this season.
Yes, that includes a Yankees series which averaged 32,856 per game over the weekend. This is slightly above the 31,864 the Yankees have drawn over the weekend at the Trop from 2008-2011. In 2010 the Rays also had their home opening series over the weekend at the Trop and averaged 31,455. One quirky fact from 2011 is that all three home series against the Yankees were weekday series. In fact only 9 of the past 36 Yankee games have fallen on a Friday-Sunday. The Yankees have drawn 6,455 more fans per game on the weekend at the Trop. However this is likely not an accident as the loss in attendance from Yankee games on weekends is more than offset by the increase from smaller markets moving from the weekdays to weekends.
The three games series against the Twins averaged 25,681. This is actually below the 2008-11 weekend average of 26,287 against the Twins. This number appears inflated by some pennant chase baseball. A year ago in April from Friday to Saturday the Twins games averaged just 18,065.
The cushion built will through the first six games will come in handy as Anaheim is traditionally a weak draw averaging just 15,599 during weekday games from 2008-11 at the Trop. This includes games 4 and 5 last year which averaged a paltry 12,505 fans. Here's to the fans turning out and continuing to outpace their benchmarks.