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Tampa fans need to get a clue, or the team should move

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

When I saw the attendance at a recent Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, my initial thought was that it was a misprint.

How can a team battling for a pennant draw less than 12,000 fans? Can you say brutal?

I certainly could understand if Tampa Bay was playing like it did when it first came into the American League and was struggling to win 70 games, but that isn’t the case the past couple of years. Heck, the Rays are in the middle of a battle with the Yankees for the AL East lead, and it should be the toughest ticket in town to get.

People complain about the location of Tropicana Field, saying the location isn’t in the best part of town.

It can’t be as bad as Candlestick Park and that surrounding area. Even the Oakland Coliseum isn’t in the greatest place. Still, when those two teams put winning products on the field the fans do support the teams.

I know the economy is bad, but Major League Baseball is still the most affordable ticket of all the professional sports.

The average ticket price this year is $26.74 which is up by a little more than a dollar from 2008. When I say average ticket price it doesn’t include premium tickets or luxury boxes.

Personally I don’t think it’s totally the cost of a ticket that keeps people away, I think it’s the cost of food and drink that really blow up the cost. You’re paying $7 bucks for a small beer and another $4 for a small drink. Throw in a few hot dogs at an average of $3.75 and another $10 or so bucks to park and you are talking at least $165 or $170 for a family of four to go to a game.

I remember back when I attended Giants games as a youngster. You could bring your own food into the ballpark, so my my friends and I would buy a big bag of peanuts and have our moms make some sandwiches and we were set. The Giants still allow fans to bring their own food, so that’s certainly a way to keep the cost down for families.

One of the best ideas if you don’t want to bring your own food to the park is to purchase an all-you-can-eat ticket.

I went to an A’s game two years ago, and for $35 I sat in the third deck behind the plate and the option of consuming as many sodas, hot dogs, peanuts and ice cream as I wanted until service stopped after seven innings. It was a great deal.

Locally, the Aces, as per PCL rules don’t allow any outside food in the park.

That’s brutal.

•••

Carson alum Richard Shroy, who won state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 last spring, is off to a good start at Washington State.

Shroy was a non-scoring 12th in the meet against arch-rival Washington. Shroy covered the 6,000-meter distance in 19:01.47. Not a bad start for the freshman.

•••

Josh Peacock and Luke Carter, two former Carson High stars, made their college debuts this weekend.

Peacock, a cornerback at Hiram, had two tackles in a 23-6 loss to Westminister. Carter, a linebacker, had one tackle in Malone College’s game against Tiffin.