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The Tampa Bay Rays are in control of the AL East. However, their crowds at Tropicana Field only seem to be getting smaller.
For a team in first place in their division, the Tampa Bay Rays aren’t much of a draw this MLB season.
A crowd of just 5,460 fans attended Monday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times pointed out on Twitter. That’s their lowest attendance at Tropicana Field without COVID-19 restrictions in place.
In defense of Rays fans, a Monday evening game against the last-place Orioles was never going to draw a great number. The fact that the Delta Variant is running rampant in the state of Florida wouldn’t encourage fans to get out to the ballpark either.
Attendance at Rays games doesn’t compare well to other AL East teams
Still, attendance has been poor for the Rays even before COVID-19. They’ve broken 20,000 once this season when the Boston Red Sox were in town at the end of July. They increased the capacity allowance at Tropicana to 25,000 at the start of July.
By comparison, Boston hasn’t had fewer than 20,000 fans since restrictions were lifted in Massachusetts. Baltimore is having a miserable season, and their lowest attendance of the second half of the season was 7,124 against the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 10.
When the attendance figures of the first-place team don’t even compare to the last-place team, that’s a problem. The Rays are too good for no one to be watching them.
There’s no reason to expect attendance to get better on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as the Orioles series continues. Perhaps the Chicago White Sox series over the weekend will entice more fans to turn up.