Struggling MLB Team Outright Eliminates Upper Deck, Reduces Capacity
Struggling MLB Team Outright Eliminates Upper Deck, Reduces Capacity It seems that ever since the Tampa Bay Rays came into existence as the Devil Rays some 20 years ago, the team has struggled with attendance. In part because of that, the Rays are making efforts to mask some of those low attendance issues by eliminating all upper-deck seating at Tropicana Field for the 2019 season. This will reduce the capacity of Tropicana Field by more than 5,000 seats to approximately 25,000 to 26,000. No other MLB stadium has a seating capacity below 35,000. The only stadium with a lower average attendance than Tropicana Field’s 14,258 was the other Florida ballpark, Marlins Park, which had 10,013. Rays president Matt Silverman The team also announced it would be creating “more social gathering spaces with the creation of the Left Field Ledge, which will include a full-service bar, ledge tables and seated drink rails.” Poor attendance at Tropicana Field isn’t just a recent thing; the Rays have struggled with home attendance since the inception of the team in 1998. Just last week, Rays player Tommy Pham, who spent his first four-and-a-half seasons in St. Louis before being traded to Tampa Bay, blasted the Rays’ fan base by saying it doesn’t exist. Even with a new ballpark, there’s no guarantee that fans will show up. As the attendance numbers for the Rays and Marlins show, MLB hasn’t really caught on in Florida.