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View Full Version : Tampa owner dismayed by low attendance and TV ratings


Fenway
07-17-2011, 06:37 PM
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-owner-stuart-sternberg-says-empty-seats-wont-affect-push/1180970

36 percent drop in TV viewers makes where the new stadium be located question moot.

Meanwhile CKGM radio in Montreal says MLB has asked about dates to play 11-15 games next year. More than one team involved.

Red Barchetta
07-17-2011, 08:32 PM
I like this ownership group and I pretty much agree with their approach and attitude toward their current deal in St. Pete.

However, per my post the other day, things are happening in Tampa.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=129101

Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater represent the largest metropolitan area in Florida. MLB will not give up on it. I think it can work, however the Rays ownership has to fight to not only attract fans, but also convert the local transplanted fans from their Yankees, Red Sox, etc. loyalties. I being one of them.

Although I will always be a White Sox fan, I know I would go to more Rays games if they played in a park like the Pirates or Giants vs. the big gym they call Tropicana.

doublem23
07-17-2011, 09:55 PM
Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater represent the largest metropolitan area in Florida. MLB will not give up on it. I think it can work, however the Rays ownership has to fight to not only attract fans, but also convert the local transplanted fans from their Yankees, Red Sox, etc. loyalties. I being one of them.

Miami area is like double the size of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater

Fenway
07-17-2011, 10:02 PM
Miami area is like double the size of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater

Orlando is 100 miles away - but St Pete scares that crowd off as the last 25 miles is a tough drive.

Tampa Bay is really 3 mid size cities that all hate each other. It is a very strange region. The economy there is awful as even the Bucs can't sell out.

Hockey has enough hard cores to survive for some reason.

DSpivack
07-17-2011, 10:50 PM
Orlando is 100 miles away - but St Pete scares that crowd off as the last 25 miles is a tough drive.

Tampa Bay is really 3 mid size cities that all hate each other. It is a very strange region. The economy there is awful as even the Bucs can't sell out.

Hockey has enough hard cores to survive for some reason.

Half as many games in a season and half as many seats to fill in each game? Just a guess.

doublem23
07-17-2011, 10:56 PM
Orlando is 100 miles away

And?

Milwaukee and Rockford are about 100 miles from Chicago, too, but no one would claim they're part of the Chicagoland area.

Fenway
07-17-2011, 10:57 PM
Half as many games in a season and half as many seats to fill in each game? Just a guess.

St Pete Times Forum is one of the best arenas in the NHL - holds 21,000

It was a fantastic atmosphere during the east finals this year.

The empty seats tonight for Sunday Night Baseball has to be killing the owner - what the hell more can he do??

amsteel
07-17-2011, 11:30 PM
Meanwhile CKGM radio in Montreal says MLB has asked about dates to play 11-15 games next year. More than one team involved.

If the Sox play any games in MTL I will be 1st in line to buy tickets. I assume they would be taking home games away from poorly drawing teams. Tampa, not Miami since they will be in their new place next year, Oakland, any other possibilities?

Where though? I doubt MLB wants to go back into Olympic Stadium.

Fenway
07-17-2011, 11:41 PM
If the Sox play any games in MTL I will be 1st in line to buy tickets. I assume they would be taking home games away from poorly drawing teams. Tampa, not Miami since they will be in their new place next year, Oakland, any other possibilities?

Where though? I doubt MLB wants to go back into Olympic Stadium.

It would have to be Stade Olympique short term - but MLB and the province most likely want to see if baseball has a pulse in Quebec - the 1994 strike killed that fanbase and then Claude Brochu doing the firesale to cash in on revenue sharing - then came Loria - believe me that city adored Nos Amours

PatK
07-18-2011, 11:44 AM
Hockey has enough hard cores to survive for some reason.

Snowbirds and transplants

Bump34
07-18-2011, 11:54 AM
The Lightning struggled with attendance all season long... especially trying to sell the lower bowl expensive seats... the only time there was a buzz about ticket sales for the Lightning was the game they played against the Red Wings... They are losing millions of $$$$...

The Bucs didn't sell out mostly because of the expensive club seats that went unsold... the upper reaches looked empty but that was because the fans can hang out in the lower concourse by the Pirate Ship etc... more of a party atmosphere...

Finally... a couple of big reasons for the decline in TV ratings were... how may people expected this team to do anything... and a 1-8 start didn't help... and the Lightning made an extended run in the playoffs... FYI... it wasn't until the Eastern Conference Finals that the Lightning finally had better TV ratings than the Rays... but there is no doubt that their run caused some ratings erosion... The Rays TV ratings in Orlando are better than the Lightning ratings in Tampa Bay during the regular season...

Red Barchetta
07-18-2011, 07:50 PM
Miami area is like double the size of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater

In terms of South Florida vs. the Tampa Bay area, however in terms of actual city population Tampa/St. Pete have more people than Miami/Fort Lauderdale. South Florida covers more territory/miles thus the higher populations.


City Populations:

Miami: 399,457
Ft. Lauderdale: 165,521

Tampa: 335,709
St. Pete: 244,769

So the question will be from how far away will people be willing to drive to see MLB in Florida?

Fenway
07-19-2011, 07:08 PM
It just will not work in Pinellas County - Tampa people will not cross the bridge -
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/content/maddon-trop-improper-mlb-its-time-move-centrally-located-retractable-roof-stadium


If MLB needs to buy out the lease then so be it...

Montreal has signaled Selig that a new ballpark can be built but they have to be sure somebody is coming -

Quebec has changed where now with a second French sports network the TV money would be large.

Montreal in the AL East would mean lots of out of town NYY and Sawx fans plus eastern Ontario Jays supporters - the Expos never had that.



The Lightning struggled with attendance all season long... especially trying to sell the lower bowl expensive seats... the only time there was a buzz about ticket sales for the Lightning was the game they played against the Red Wings... They are losing millions of $$$$...

The Bucs didn't sell out mostly because of the expensive club seats that went unsold... the upper reaches looked empty but that was because the fans can hang out in the lower concourse by the Pirate Ship etc... more of a party atmosphere...

Finally... a couple of big reasons for the decline in TV ratings were... how may people expected this team to do anything... and a 1-8 start didn't help... and the Lightning made an extended run in the playoffs... FYI... it wasn't until the Eastern Conference Finals that the Lightning finally had better TV ratings than the Rays... but there is no doubt that their run caused some ratings erosion... The Rays TV ratings in Orlando are better than the Lightning ratings in Tampa Bay during the regular season...

Viva Medias B's
07-19-2011, 10:47 PM
Wouldn't the Rays be more successful at the gate if they played in Orlando?

Fenway
07-20-2011, 05:56 AM
Wouldn't the Rays be more successful at the gate if they played in Orlando?

They played some regular season games at the Disney complex but didn't draw that well.

Florida has always been suspect for baseball...Florida State League has always had poor attendance.

Miami and Tampa COMBINED would rank only 13th in MLB att this year.

LITTLE NELL
07-20-2011, 06:14 AM
The Tampa Tribune has been trashing the Trop just about every day this week. Even Joe Maddon got into the discussion in todays paper. the only guy defending the place is the St. Pete mayor.

Fenway
07-20-2011, 06:33 AM
The Tampa Tribune has been trashing the Trop just about every day this week. Even Joe Maddon got into the discussion in todays paper. the only guy defending the place is the St. Pete mayor.

Pinellas County (St Pete-Clearwater) is a major retirement area (fixed income) and St Pete is called 'God's Waiting Room' by the Tampa side. Clearwater is controlled by a religious cult.

The area just south of the Trop is borderline shantytown with heavy drug use. St. Pete hoped The Trop would change the area....didn't happen.

But St Pete has the 'lease' until 2027.
The city having been burnt by the White Sox, Mariners and Giants made it as ironclad as possible.

Usually winning solves attendance issues short term but not in St. Pete.

gobears1987
07-20-2011, 05:25 PM
Orlando is 100 miles away - but St Pete scares that crowd off as the last 25 miles is a tough drive.

Tampa Bay is really 3 mid size cities that all hate each other. It is a very strange region. The economy there is awful as even the Bucs can't sell out.

Hockey has enough hard cores to survive for some reason.

Which is funny given how bad hockey does in the rest of the south. If I had to guess, it's the NE transplants who grew up watching the Rangers and Bruins who are down there supporting it.

Fenway
07-20-2011, 05:29 PM
Which is funny given how bad hockey does in the rest of the south. If I had to guess, it's the NE transplants who grew up watching the Rangers and Bruins who are down there supporting it.

No - Boston and NY people tend to go to South Florida

Tampa has a lot of Michigan and Ontario natives.

Red Barchetta
07-20-2011, 05:41 PM
Pinellas County (St Pete-Clearwater) is a major retirement area (fixed income) and St Pete is called 'God's Waiting Room' by the Tampa side. Clearwater is controlled by a religious cult.

The area just south of the Trop is borderline shantytown with heavy drug use. St. Pete hoped The Trop would change the area....didn't happen.

But St Pete has the 'lease' until 2027.
The city having been burnt by the White Sox, Mariners and Giants made it as ironclad as possible.

Usually winning solves attendance issues short term but not in St. Pete.

The lease doesn't expire until 2027, however the bonds used to pay for the Trop retire in 2016, meaning if the Rays leave, they don't leave St. Pete with a bill, just an empty, ugly stadium.

That's why there is so much interest in the downtown Tampa site. Secure the site, negotiate the ballpark naming rights & corporate sponsor and then plan to open in 2016. MLB will step in and get the Rays out of their lease. I'm sure they could also potentially move spring training back to St. Pete to help dull the pain.

Red Barchetta
07-20-2011, 05:41 PM
No - Boston and NY people tend to go to South Florida

Tampa has a lot of Michigan and Ontario natives.

Lots of Pittsburgh natives as well. They really come out during football season.

Foulke You
07-20-2011, 05:44 PM
The lease doesn't expire until 2027, however the bonds used to pay for the Trop retire in 2016, meaning if the Rays leave, they don't leave St. Pete with a bill, just an empty, ugly stadium.

That's why there is so much interest in the downtown Tampa site. Secure the site, negotiate the ballpark naming rights & corporate sponsor and then plan to open in 2016. MLB will step in and get the Rays out of their lease. I'm sure they could also potentially move spring training back to St. Pete to help dull the pain.
What complicates things for the Rays getting a new ballpark is the gigantic price tag that a retractable roof stadium will have. The Rays cannot get away with building a more "budget friendly" outdoor only ballpark like the Twins did with Target Field. The weather is too hot, humid, and rainy in the summer in Florida for it to work as an outdoor only park.

Red Barchetta
07-20-2011, 05:50 PM
What complicates things for the Rays getting a new ballpark is the gigantic price tag that a retractable roof stadium will have. The Rays cannot get away with building a more "budget friendly" outdoor only ballpark like the Twins did with Target Field. The weather is too hot, humid, and rainy in the summer in Florida for it to work as an outdoor only park.

The downtown St. Pete plan they unveiled a few years ago had a sail-like sheet that would cover the park when necessary. Not sure if they would revisit that idea, however I agree a retractable roof would be the best, although expensive, solution.

What's ironic, is that Tampa today is less hot and less humid than most of the midwest and east coast. When they presented the original open-air St. Pete ballpark proposal, they indicated that per the studies and market research performed, St. Pete (Tampa Bay) on average during the baseball season, was no hotter or humid than other southern cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Arlington and even St. Louis. However, they would definitely need to do something to protect the field during the summer afternoon rainstorms that pass through almost like clockwork. Not sure if a sail will be that effective.

DSpivack
07-20-2011, 06:43 PM
Which is funny given how bad hockey does in the rest of the south. If I had to guess, it's the NE transplants who grew up watching the Rangers and Bruins who are down there supporting it.

Tampa is not the south.

Carolina and Nashville are.

BigKlu59
07-20-2011, 07:11 PM
tampa is not the south.

Carolina and nashville are.

+1

Red Barchetta
07-20-2011, 08:47 PM
Tampa is not the south.

Carolina and Nashville are.

I agee. If you live in Florida and want to go visit the south, go north! :D:

soxfanreggie
07-20-2011, 09:56 PM
The economy there is awful as even the Bucs can't sell out.

Part of that could be that we spent the least of any team (probably by far) over the last 5 years.

DSpivack
07-20-2011, 09:56 PM
I agee. If you live in Florida and want to go visit the south, go north! :D:

Well, you just have to go to north Florida. Tallahassee? Definitely the south.

Bump34
07-20-2011, 10:56 PM
A retractable roof ballpark is the only way to go... The heat, humidity and afternoon rains would be financial suicide... It needs to be centrally located... With that said... I don't think we would ever be looking at 3 million a year attendance... but I think 2.5+ million would be attainable...

I know people that were trying to bring a Double A team to Montreal and build a ballpark that could be expanded... with big $$ people involved... and Montreal was not very cooperative...

Fenway
07-21-2011, 06:18 PM
Rays NEED to beat NYY tonight to stop bleeding - Boston and NYY getting too far ahead.

geofitz
07-22-2011, 06:51 AM
NY and Boston people go to South Florida.

Unfortunately true.

Most Boston people (fans) can be reasoned with as long as you remind them of Ted Lepcio, Sammy White and Pumpsie Green.

On the other hand, the New Yorkers have no idea who Horace Clarke was and that CBS ran the team in the ground for a few years.

Fenway
07-22-2011, 07:27 AM
Sammy White...

After he retired he opened a popular bowling alley but it all fell apart in 1980 when a former employee robbed it at closing and killed the 4 employees on duty.

It was the best known bowling complex in the area as a popular TV show was taped there but the murders just killed the business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sammy_White's_Brighton_Bowl


NY and Boston people go to South Florida.

Unfortunately true.

Most Boston people (fans) can be reasoned with as long as you remind them of Ted Lepcio, Sammy White and Pumpsie Green.

On the other hand, the New Yorkers have no idea who Horace Clarke was and that CBS ran the team in the ground for a few years.