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Tampa Bay Rays record lowest attendance in franchise history

Despite having one of the best records in Major League Baseball this season, the Tampa Bay Rays continue to struggle to attract fans to Tropicana Field.

The Rays’ victory against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday evening drew an announced attendance of just 5,786 fans, representing the smallest home crowd in the franchise’s 22-year history.

The previous attendance low of 6,509 came as Tampa and St. Petersburg residents prepared for Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Last year, the Rays averaged 14,258 fans a game, which was the second-worst attendance figure in MLB, ahead of only the Miami Marlins.

The Rays’ improved performance this season – the Rays are second in the American League East Division with a 33-19 record – have done nothing to solve their ongoing attendance problems, though.

To help address this issue, the Rays have reduced the capacity at Tropicana Field from 31,042 to around 25,000 to create a more “intimate, entertaining and appealing” experience for fans.

In the longer term, the Rays are looking to leave the stadium when the lease ends in 2027 but plans for a new ballpark have struggled to get off the ground.

Further reading: Local initiatives offer solutions to MLB’s national attendance problem