The Tampa Bay Rays are in first place in the American League East. They have a 9-1 record at home and they are one of the best teams in baseball. The Rays have an exciting team, with good pitching and defense. You would think all of their games are sold out, but they are not. Monday night, the Rays beat the Seattle Mariners in front of 9500 fans, last night the Rays beat the Seattle Mariners in front of just under 10,000 fans. Tropicana Field holds 37000 fans, more if you open up all of the covered seats in the upper deck. The question is why the Ray's attendance is low at Tropicana Field.
Tropicana Field Itself-Tropicana Field is ugly from the inside out. The stadium does not look like or play like a Major League Baseball Stadium. The downstairs is well-taken care of, but the upstairs is ugly. The downstairs is cleaned well, but the upper deck is dirty and stays dirty the entire year. When it rains, the upstairs leaks all over the place. There is nothing upstairs for children. All the fun stuff is downstairs. If you don't have the money to pay for the good seats, you get stuck in the upper deck prison of Tropicana Field. The people in the stadium are nice, but it does not make the stadium nicer. The only thing upstairs is a party deck, bar and a few food stands which are not open when the stadium is empty. Tips-during slow weekday games, the owners of the Rays should have $5 tickets and food specials to get more fans out to the stadium. You don't make a dime from empty seats. Put something fun upstairs for children. Give fans a reason to come back to Tropicana Field. There is no longer free parking at Tropicana Field, the food and drinks are too expensive.
St. Petersburg-St Petersburg is not a fabulous town. The place is fun to visit, but the beaches are the most desirable part of the city. St. Petersburg is touted as the most depressing and most dangerous city in America. Makes you want to visit the place. St. Petersburg is dangerous, the economy is bad and many homeless people walk the streets. There are also gangs around the city who are looking for some action. Tropican Field is in a horrible location, a place where people just don't feel safe. It is in an area where even police officers have been killed. The only person who thinks the Tampa Bay Rays should continue to play in Tropicana Field is the mayor of St. Petersburg. Even the expensive mall downtown went out of business.
Location and Transfer-The population around Tropicana Field does not have enough people to guarantee a sellout every night. Many people in St. Petersburg are fans of other Major League Baseball teams. There are NY Yankee fans, Boston Red Sox fans and other fans from other Major League Baseball teams. They come when their team is playing and their team is not the Tampa Bay Rays. Many of the Spring Training stadiums are sold out every game because their fans support their team. Sadly, most of the Spring Training facilities are better baseball stadiums than Tropicana Field.
Can The Tampa Area Support A Major League Baseball Team?-yes, but the team has to be good (The Tampa Bay Rays are excellent) the stadium has to be up to date (Tropicana Field is outdated) The location has to be accessible to more people (Tropicana Field is accessible to a small group of people) Large companies have to support the team (The Tampa Bay Rays do not have enough support from large companies)
A New Stadium-The Tampa Bay Rays will have to build a new stadium in a new location or they will move to another city. Major League Baseball is already complaining about the Rays attendance. The owner of the team is complaining about attendance. If you have been to the stadium, you know it is time to upgrade. The Tampa Bay Rays do things right on the field, it is time the team is supported as one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. The major of St. Petersburg needs to take one for the team instead of playing his selfish games. It's time for the Rays to upgrade with a new stadium.