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Rays' home attendance continues to sag despite place near top of MLB

The "sad tale of Tropicana Field attendance ... might go unnoticed in the spring or in a season that’s bound for nowhere," but it is "hard to ignore four consecutive crowds of fewer than 8,000 against the Red Sox while the Rays are surging toward a 100-win season and the calendar is turning to September," according to John Romano of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The attendance issues "might be construed as a game-changer," one that "will not be shrugged off so easily" in MLB’s executive suites in the coming discussions about the Rays' future. Some may "blame the stadium, the location, the lack of corporate support or the demographics of the market," but the Rays are "among the most interesting teams in baseball no matter who they are playing." Romano wrote as a possible solution to the attendance issue, the Rays for the final 10 games of the regular season "should slash ticket prices at Tropicana Field," with "deep, serious, park-wide cuts." This is "not going to immediately change anyone’s opinion about the level of support in Tampa Bay," as "that ship has already sailed." But it will instead be "a gesture to a dugout filled with players who deserve to have a loud, enthusiastic crowd cheering them on in the final weeks of a glorious season" It "might convince a few more fans to pay full price for postseason tickets in October" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/5).

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