WWE Royal Rumble Draws Over 48,000 Attendees
The WWE made waves as they announced a staggering attendance of 48,044 people at the recent Royal Rumble event held at Tropicana Field. This remarkable figure set a new record for the stadium, leaving spectators in awe.
Tropicana Field: A Troubled History
Tropicana Field, located in St. Petersburg, has been the subject of controversy for years. Often regarded as one of the worst ballparks in North America, its accessibility issues have contributed to consistently low attendance numbers for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Comparing Apples to Oranges
It is important to note that the Royal Rumble is an annual event held at different locations each year, while the Rays play around 81 baseball games at Tropicana Field annually. Moreover, the WWE’s ingenious seating arrangements allowed fans to occupy the field level, resulting in more available seats compared to baseball games where such arrangements are impossible.
Rays Struggle to Fill the Stadium
Despite the Rays’ success on the field, their average attendance has consistently remained disappointing. Even during their division-winning seasons in 2008 and 2010, the team could only attract an average of 22,259 and 23,025 fans per game, respectively. In the 2020 and 2021 seasons, attendance was further limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Tropicana Field Reaches Capacity
In a surprising turn of events, Tropicana Field reached its maximum capacity during the WWE Royal Rumble, a feat not seen in years. The last time the stadium experienced such an influx of spectators was during its inaugural season in 1998 when the Rays averaged 30,942 fans per home game. Since 2010, however, the team has struggled to draw more than 20,000 fans to the stadium.
The Rays’ Uphill Battle
As the Rays continue their journey as a baseball franchise, they face the ongoing challenge of overcoming low attendance figures. Even during the recent postseason, the team struggled to fill the stadium, with a meager 19,704 attendees at one game. These numbers highlight the uphill battle the Rays face in connecting with their fanbase and generating excitement for their games.
The Future of Tropicana Field
With the WWE Royal Rumble’s record-breaking attendance, Tropicana Field has proven that it has the potential to attract significant crowds. As discussions continue regarding the Rays’ future stadium plans, this impressive turnout serves as a reminder of the untapped potential within the Tampa Bay community for supporting their beloved baseball team.
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