Skip to comments.CBS Radio’s ’98.7 The Fan’ Launches Campaign to Save Rays Baseball
Posted on 09/12/2013 7:00:36 AM PDT by raccoonradio
Losing a Major League Baseball franchise would be a blow to CBS Radios drive to build a successful sports talk station in the market. But MLB commissioner Bud Selig has stated the league is not happy with the support the market is giving the Tampa Bay Rays in terms of attendance despite the club fielding successful teams. The league states, Last year, the 30 Major League clubs averaged nearly 2.5 million in total attendance; the Rays, who finished with a 90-72 record, drew 1,559,681, which ranked last in the game. So WHFS-FM 98.7 The Fan is launching Save Tampa Bay Baseball, a multi-tiered campaign to help keep the Rays in the region.
But because St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster has said Major League Baseball does not seem interested in a cooperative effort to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay region for the long term, the station is taking action. The campaign involves launching the website www.SaveTampaBayBaseball.com to raise awareness that the Rays may be in danger of leaving Tampa Bay, as well as a petition drive to let Major League Baseball know that the Rays belong in Tampa Bay.
The 98.7 The Fan Street Team will canvass the downtown area offering Save Tampa Bay Baseball window stickers to all local merchants who support the Rays. In addition, 98.7 The Fan will host an official Save Tampa Bay Baseball Rally on September 12 at Fergs Sports Bar & Grill home of the 98.7 The Fan Fan Cave before the Rays vs. Boston Red Sox game.
WHFS-FM program director John OConnell states, At 98.7 The Fan, we strongly believe its in the best interest of the Tampa Bay community to keep Major League Baseball here. We will support our hometown Rays every way we can, and encourage Rays fans and the Tampa/St. Petersburg community to join us.
>>Its unfathomable to think that Tampa Bay may soon be without a major league baseball team, but its a VERY real possibility and one we wont accept.
Major League Baseball is making demands and so are we! If youre a Fan or a local business owner who wants to show your support, sign the petition below and do your part to help keep the Rays where they belong, right here in the Bay area.
In past years the Giants and Jays were rumored to be going to Tampa Bay; now TB may be having a tough time keeping its team. This year seemed promising but the team's been fading lately...(also Montreal supposedly wants baseball back. Good luck; I think Tor. may play some "home games" at Stade Olympique)
GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE
The stadium is severely dated, located in a ghetto, and very difficult for most of the area to get too.
Otherwise its great fun to go to the game. Kinda scary getting home though.
How many of the 1.5 million “fans” are Red Sox fans?
The rays rank very high in tv viewers.
But tepid attendance over the last few years has changed his thinking, Foster said in a remarkably candid interview Monday with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board. 2050, you have to let them look in Tampa," Foster said.
Attendance might not improve markedly at a Hillsborough site, Foster said. "I think there is a big question mark as to whether or not Tampa Bay is a major league region.''
Heard game on radio the other day from the Tampa Bay stadium—you could hear loud cheers when the Sox did well. (Similar
thing happened when I saw an Orioles-Yankees game at Camden Yards some years ago—so many Yankee fans were there it was Yankee Stadium south. I went back to Camden Yards for an Aug 2 game vs. Mariners. A Fri night, team doing well...Camden Yards was half-full. On a Fri night.)
Who is Ray and if he can’t keep track of his baseball we shouldn’t keep bailing him out.
There are a lot of transants in the tampa area who remain faithful to their old team. You see it in all the major sports here.
Their old town wasnt good enough to live in but they won’t give up the team.
Their pathetic attendance, despite fielding reasonably good teams and building state of the art stadiums, proves my point.
Maybe they could use those stadiums to join a Latin American winter league.
I used to think the same thing about Arizona, but the D-Backs actually sell seats, including those in a swimming pool.
True, I think there are some who move to other parts of the country but keep allegiance, or retirees:
—People who went to college in Boston area become Red Sox fans; might move to California and go to Angels games when Red Sox play in Anaheim
—Retirees...New Englanders might settle down in Florida
and stay Red Sox fans, attending TB vs Red Sox games,
or spring training (Jet Blue Park, Ft Myers)
I’ll correct my post #12. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a state of the art stadium. But Miami certainly does. How’s that working out for them?
big money for Marlins stadium and they're, what, in last place? and don't draw well
>>What has moving to Miami brought the Marlins? About 100 extra fans per game. Thats the current gap between this years attendance and the average gate count for the Marlins last season at Sun Life Stadium, the football field that owner Jeffrey Loria blamed for the teams long-standing attendance and revenue woes.
Those problems ended up following Loria to the government-owned Marlins Park, which is on track to face the worst fan rejection of a new baseball stadium in at least a generation.
True but teams and the players union would be opposed to it.
>>one of the factors in the doping scandle
There have been rumblings about contraction over the years.
The Twins were one candidate but then went on to win a World Series or do well afterwards. Some teams moved rather than
folded: MLB took charge of the Expos for awhile till finally they found a home in Washington D.C.—the third go-around for a D.C. MLB team
Yeah, the Marlins may perform pathetically on the field now, but they've won in the past.
But only an extra 100 fans per game? I think it should be 10,000, at least in the first couple of years just to see that marvel of engineering.
I'm sure Tampa Bay is looking and making note. Moving is far less costly than building a state of the art stadium which gets comparable results to Miami. But where? Montreal has already proven they can't support a baseball team. Next candidates are places which have NBA, NHL and/or NFL team without MLB. Indianapolis? Maybe. Portland? Salt Lake City? San Antonio? All probably too small. Edmonton or Calgary would be better bets than any of these, but no sure thing either since the only thing they have going for them is no competing franchise within hundreds of miles and reasonably good support at the minor league level.
In the early years of Camden Yards, the Orioles used to sell out just about every game. What happened?
I’ve heard somebody say that some years ago, going to baseball games at new parks such as Camden Yards became a popular social event with yuppie and corporate types. But, now people have moved on to other things. These people were never big baseball fans to start with.
Some? Go to a yankees game in tampa or a buffalo game at the hockey rink.
Isn’t their lease iron clad through the year 2027 though? Or is there a buyout? Is there any real threat that the Rays could move to another city, or out of the Tampa Bay area, before 2027???
I go to about a dozen Marlins games/year. You will not be disappointed when you see the stadium. It’s an amazing facility. What strikes you right off the bat is how tiny it is, and yet it is a true pitcher’s park. Just a really cool place.
Good point. Even that supposed Red Sox big sellout streak did end (and probably a lot earlier than the team was willing to admit). Camden Yards and Jacobs (now Progressive) Field were part of a new series of retro-yet-modern parks. In 1994, the Indians were hot—playoff bound, and games selling out at the Jake like crazy. In Aug. of that year I went to Fenway Park to see the Tribe face the Sox...but after two hours, it got rained out. Talked with some Indians fans there—they said they couldn’t get into the Jake, kept selling out, so they followed them on the road.
The game never got made up because a week later, the MLB strike took effect. Sorry Indians. Sorry Expos.
>> These people were never big baseball fans to start with.
Sitting behind home plate on the cellphone, waving to the cameras LOOK AT ME I’M ON TV!!! What’s the score, who cares.
The Largest “Mistakes” that MLB make in the past 20 or so years:
1. Bud Selig
2. Tampa Bay “Rays”
3. Interleague “Play”
5. The “DH”
Yes, and agreed on all those cities that may want an MLB
team—big enough to support?
>>they’ve won in the past.
Red Sox fans have fond memories of 2003 when the Marlins,
featuring future Sox Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett, beat the Yankees in the WS. The Yankees with the zillionaire payroll vs. the low budget Marlins. (Beating the Yanks like that
makes Red Sox fans happy...one time Marlins owner or part owner John Henry is now the principal owner of the Red Sox)
I haven’t been to the new stadium, no but have been to the following:
Bos., NY Mets (Shea), Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland (Prog Field), Milwaukee (County), Chi (both teams, new Comiskey and old Wrigley), Balt., DC (both RFK & National Pk),
Angels, Dodgers, A’s, Giants (new field), Pitt (PNC),
Philly (Cit Bank), etc.— but no have not been to
either Fla. park.
>>Montreal has already proven they can’t support a baseball team.
There is indeed an effort to bring Mont. a team again but I think you’re right. I made sure to attend a game at Stade
Olympique the last yr they were there...
>>Portland? Salt Lake City? San Antonio? All probably too small.
What else, Buffalo? Toronto wouldn’t be too crazy. Of course the O’s owner wasn’t too crazy about D.C. getting a team
should say Toronto wouldn’t be too crazy about it.
That's a common refrain, but were the 16 MLB teams we had in 1960 the "right" size?
We had 179 million people living in America. We haven't quite doubled the number of teams nor the national population, but the ratio is still quite similar. Add that to the fact that baseball is far more internationalized now, commanding large audiences not only in Latin America but also in Japan.
How many famous Latin American players can you name from the 1960s? Minnesota had a plethora of them (Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Camilio Pascqual) but they were the exception and not the rule. Now teams without at least three or four Latin American players are the exception.
The first Japanese player, Masanori Murakami, debuted for the San Francisco Giants in 1962. It would take nearly two decades before we had another (Hideo Nomo). Now almost every team has at least one.
So, unless the general population has suddenly become less talented, I don't think talent dilution holds much argument. American talent has (maybe) lessened. Organized kids baseball is (maybe) one big reason. While, on one hand, a kid (maybe) gets better coaching and the like, they also get a chance to actually bat, pitch and field less in an entire summer than kids of my generation did in a couple of afternoons when we organized our own games and it was the center of our lives rather than just one more diversion.
Of course, even that argument goes out the window when you throw in the international talent.
>>1. Bud Selig
I remember the year the All Star Game at Milwaukee wound up in a “tie”...later came “this time it counts!” Selig’s fellow owners sure like him
>>2. Tampa Bay Rays
For a time did OK, even getting into World Series, but attendance a problem—and fans had some sort of annoying
thing they used, vuvuzuelas or blowhorns or something...
>>3. Interleague Play
Some may be OK but they overdid it.
Indeed the strike
>>5. The DH
As a Red Sox fan (but I kinda cheer for some other teams—I like the city of Pitt. and hope the Pirates do well), I’m a confessed American League bigot. I do like the DH. But it’s gotta either be in both leagues or neither, none of this “well it’s an at AL park, so...”. I like scoring. Then again now that they’re cleaning up the steroids, pitchers again
have the upper hand and yes a “pitcher’s duel” can be fun too. I just don’t like when pitchers have to bat—they could get injured and really affect a team, or they kill a rally. A few years ago Rangers played Giants in World Series. I cheered for the AL as usual (if Yanks are in WS I make an exception), and they had a rally going—oops, here comes the pitcher up to bat, as it was at the NL park. End of rally.
(oops I mean the owners like him though Bud is no longer an owner I believe...used to be.)
People who DESERVE to go to HELL:
Charlie Findley(for screwing up the MLB Uniform and for the “inflicting” the”DH” on MLB)
Robert Moses(for Screwing over Walter O’Malley and forcing him out of Brooklyn(NYC) and when The Dodgers left they “towed” The Giants with them to the West Coast)
Pete Rose(for screwing up a DAMN GOOD MLB Career with doing something STUPID(Gambling on his own team))
Loved most of your comments, but had to laugh at this one. Been to Buffalo lately? Or even nearby Rochester?
Both are poster children for once great towns in decline. (Their motto: "At least Detroit is doing worse!") Rochester has the once great Taj Mahal of Eastman-Kodak headquarters. Buffalo has the buffalo statues by the interstates which are kind of cool.
Beyond that, they have far more history to brag about than present. Buffalo manages to support a fairly pathetic NFL and NHL franchise because they are football and hockey crazy. Both Buffalo and Rochester manage to support (barely) AAA baseball teams which are only marginally successful both at the box office and on the field.
Not exactly the ingredients necessary to support a MLB franchise even if you could combine both markets, which I think is doable if the other ingredients were in place. But they're not.
and now, replay review
(tho I like the dh)
Ha, well I was thinking Buff. never did get an MLB team.. I haven’t really been in Buffalo other than driving thru it on way to Toronto and even that was awhile ago. Rochester too—
in the 90s, maybe...but I can picture them being in decline
But yes you can lump Buff. in with those cities that prob wouldn’t do well if they got an MLB team.
Even little league world series has been using replay review too.
yeah, florida is just too hot and old to support a baseball team. Plus there is too much other fun stuff to do. The Devil Rays should move. Good candidate cities include:
1. Indianapolis: New baseball only stadium that can be expanded. Great location - growing population with very strong attendance at their minor league games already.
2. Raliegh-Durham: Beautiful nearly new stadium known as the Camden Yards of the south. Strong attendance - outstanding and deep rooted baseball tradition no other area in the country can beat. Also exceptionally large base of high income fans to draw from. Former northerners that have migrated, would love to see those teams visit. Also near RTP which is home to the nation’s largest tech companies including IBM, Cisco, SAS, etc from which the team can draw strong day time attendance, business group functions,etc.
3. Vegas: Old standby wanna team town. Hitting the skids since the recession.
My vote would be for Raleigh Durham. They are the Rays main farm team already. Just move the organization up there, make tampa the AAA team. Keep the Durham Bulls name - and let the Durham Bulls beat the New York Yankees in the next world series!
There is a spirited move in Montreal to bring baseball back. Charlotte and Portland have been wanting MLB for years as well.
Vegas, not so much. Not even if they got lucky and were able to reproduce the successful Arizona model. The town is just far too cyclical and single-industry oriented. Either Portland or Salt Lake City would be a better choice. And neither would be particularly good.
Nashville has NFL and NHL. Closest cities with teams are Atlanta and Cincinnati which are both NL teams. Move them there, put them in the AL Central and send Cleveland to the East.
The key is not just market size or who has other big 4 franchises (MLB/NFL/NBA/NHL), but who has evidence of supporting baseball. RD (plus throw in Charlotte because it isn't that far away) and Indianapolis both beat Nashville in spades when it comes to the total picture.
Los Angeles lacks an NFL franchise for no reason other than they don't support NFL even if they are a huge market and have all of the other three.
RDU isn’t going to happen. The Durham Bulls’ stadium (Durham Bulls Athletic Park, charmingly known as “the DBAP”) only seats around 10,000 and has virtually no room for expansion because it’s built in the middle of downtown with buildings and streets on all sides, limited parking, and limited amenities in the area. It’s a very nice AAA ballpark but nowhere near a Major League facility. Plus, if an MLB team was seriously looking at RDU, Raleigh/Wake County—where 2/3 of the people live—would flex its muscle and the stadium would be put out there where the population is and the politicians are.
It occurs to me that if RDU was serious about getting a MLB team, they would (I think) consider seriously the prospect of putting a baseball stadium over near the RBC Center and/or Carter-Finley Stadium. Lots of open ground out there near that part of the State Fairgrounds IIRC, and good road access, much better than downtown Durham around the DBAP.