Blog Entry

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:14 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am

A couple of crowds on Monday night were not what some of the people on the field wanted them to be, and the players made it known.

The Rays had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win at home against the Orioles, and just 12,446 showed up. And it really wasn't even that many -- remember that baseball uses "tickets sold" as attendance, so season tickets count whether the people show up or not. The crowd was just over half Tampa Bay's season average of 23,047.

Rays ace David Price took to his personal Twitter account to complain, writing "Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing."

Tampa third baseman Evan Longoria told the St. Petersburg Times that the small crowds down the stretch are "disheartening" and embarrassing."

In Washington, there were a few more fans -- 14,309. What troubled the Nationals was that way too many of them were Phillies fans there to watch their team clinch the National League East title.

The Washington Post quoted Nats shortstop Ian Desmond as saying it was "kind of embarrassing when everyone in the stadium is clapping against you when you’re at home."

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan had this to say to
"Damn, it was a lot louder at our place than it was at their place when we go there. It felt it was a home game for the Phillies."

It's not generally a good business practice to criticize the customers, but sometimes frustration takes over.

UPDATE: After his comment spread across the internet, Price tweeted: "If I offended anyone I apologize I did not think it was gonna turn into this ..."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:37 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

How about the fact that more people than ever are down and out of work.  While I am a big sports fan, I just cant afford to take my 2 kids to the ballgame right now.   With the prices of parking, concessions,  and everything else professional sports has basically been scratched from our list.  Maybe if teams wouldnt break the fans with continued higher prices more would come.   Very easy for a player making millions to bitch about things he has no idea about.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:25 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Love baseball - love the Rays, but going to games is just not a priority for my family, and I think many people feel the same.  We are not exactly booming economically here in Tampa Bay, so going to "support" my team is not high on my list... They sound like a bunch of a whiny millionaires... oh yeah, they ARE a bunch of whiny millionaires.  Go Rays!?

Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:22 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Phila fans the best and most knowledgeable in sports. Dont forget self acclaimed. Is crack still prevalent in Philly or is the tazing getting to your head?

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:00 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

The team name is Tampa include the surrounding areas. If it takes you an hour to drive from Tampa to St. Pete you drive like my Grandma. I agree that they do indeed need a new venue, but you are talking about several "Tampa Bay" communities who just DONT support baseball. They have tried for years now to come up with packages to build in St. Pete, and Tampa. The problem is that no one......mostly the citizens of the area, wants to help pay for it. I say F Florida, and move on to somewhere who cares.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:49 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

You do realize that your hour-long drive on single-lane roads to see the Patriots was at most 8 times a opposed to 81 times for home games alone!  I've seen eight Rays games this year, including traveling to Baltimore, Toronto, and two games in Atlanta!  Baseball is a huge commitment!

You're right about one would be embarrassing for baseball itself!  Perhaps baseball needs to take a look inward and see that small-market teams, especially those in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox, are at a competitive disadvantage!  The Rays fans have heard all year that they're probably going to lose Crawford to the Yankees and Pena as well!  How do you think that sits with fans that are spending hard-earned dollars to come out and see the Rays?!

Since: Apr 8, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:47 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

Like they say in Real Estate.......location, location, location....The Rays play in St Pete, the home of myriads of old folks who live on fixed incomes and don't go to games. The economy stinks and we share the market with the Spring Training Yankees. It is an area with divided loyalties with a short tradition. the fan base is growing, but there are alot of things fighting against attendance now. I would love to go more, but it is and hour and 45 minute + from my home. Tampa would be much closer, but the economy needs to improve. The multi-millionaires need to shut their pie holes.

Since: May 8, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:45 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

From your post we can tell you don’t live in the TAMPA area. The issue with the attendance is its location in St Petersburg. There are millions of Rays fans within the Tampa metro area (not St Petersburg).... The population within a 30 mile radius of the stadium is senior citizens whom are on fix incomes and can’t afford to go to the games. Most fans who want and can afford to watch the Rays have to travel over an hour each way in good traffic to see the games. Myself I have to travel almost 2 hours one way to get to the stadium in St Petersburg. The issue down here is that the ST Pete government is not allowing the move to Tampa where the team needs to go to survive. The lease on the stadium is not up until 2027. So what is going to happen is that the team will end up leaving St Pete, but it won’t be Tampa either. The Rays owner will be moving the team out of Florida because he is fed up with the Political crap he is dealing with. We can’t even get big corporation ticket (Season or single game) sales due to the fact where the stadium is located. The Rays season ticket holders are 80% individual fans and 20% corporate. All other teams in MLB it is 70% corporate and 30% individual fan season ticket holders. That is why the push for a new stadium and location. The fan support is there just need to get the corporate ticket sales up, but cant in its current location. A study has already been done and with the move to the Tampa metro area corporate sales and individual should both go up over 50%. That would make about an average paid attendance around 35000 per game. But again we will never know thanks to St Pete.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:37 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

It's interesting to see people talk about the economy as being a factor as to why there are so few people at the games.  Why is it that other places don't have problem getting fans to games in the same economy?  You can argue that it's a long drive to get to the game, but look at L.A.  While some fans show up late, part of the reason is because of the distance/traffic that they have to drive through.  When I lived in LA, I could leave work at 5, go home to get changed, then drive to the stadium.  I wouldn't get into the parking lot by 7 at the earliest.

There were a lot of Phillies fans in D.C. last night.  It's easily a 2 hour drive (without traffic).  With traffic, it can be up to 4 hours (I've done it to watch the Phillies play the Nationals when Oswalt first started for the Phillies).  Then another 3 1/2 hour drive home.  Several thousand Phillies fans apparently were at that game last night to see them clinch, and that's at an away game!

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:32 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

We can blame the city of St. Petersburg's inferiority complex and the St. Petersburg Times' drumming up support for a stadium that sat empty for ten years before MLB finally fulfilled it's promise to give Tampa a team (in exchange for not moving the SF Giants to Tampa).  Yes, downtown St. Pete is an hour away for most Bay Area residents, including those in north Pinellas County!  The stadium should be on the eastern side of Tampa, near the fairgrounds...that would get more folks in Tampa coming as well as drawing from Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, and Sarasota!

Personally, I believe that there is a nihilistic pall setting in...the Rays win this year or the window is closing!  The way that baseball is set up, with the Rays in the same division as two of the three biggest spending teams creates a non-sustainable situation.  The Rays fans have heard all year that Crawford is going to the Yankees after this season!  So, all the other teams groom players so that when they're in their prime, the Yankees with their huge tv contract and come in and pick them off. 

It's not the Rays fans who need to change, it is that baseball needs a hard salary cap!  Why has the NFL been so successful?  Every team has a chance to win every year!  Parity is at a draws more fans!

BTW, I live in Atlanta now but have still traveled to see the Rays in Baltimore, Toronto, and twice here in Atlanta this year!  It's a bit of a commute for me to get to ST. Petersburg...

Since: Jun 5, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:11 am

Players criticize (lack of) fans

 Bottomline, there is not  enough money and businesses in the whole
Tampa bay area to support Major league teams, that whole area is anti business, and retarded that same thing
would happen in Tampa. Just drive down Columbus avenue and see what I mean, then turn on Hills ave....And,
morons do not enough want to drive 20 minutes to see a great young team. Tampa Bay is just a loser area period
why I left after 20 years living there, suffering with stupid people . In the Tampa Bay area they hate business, and
they hate progress.

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