Fans Won’t Be Happy With This MLB Star Saying His Old Team Should Relocate

Mike Brest | Contributor

Former Tampa Bay Rays star Evan Longoria, unquestionably the franchise’s best player in history, said Thursday that the team should relocate to another city.

Longoria was the longest-tenured player in team history, having been there for the first 10 years of his career, this year being his first on a different team. During his time in Tampa Bay, he accumulated 1,435 games, 261 home runs and 892 RBIs, all of which lead the franchise.

The current San Francisco Giant said, “It pains me to say that, but players want to play in a place where you have consistent support. It’s a selfish thing to say probably as a player, but I don’t know, does anyone really want to play in front of 10,000 a night?”

So far this season, the Rays have played 18 home games and have an average attendance of 14,710 fans per game, which ranks 28th out of the 30 teams in the league.

Longoria, when speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, said, “Honestly, and this is maybe not something I should say, but my gut tells me that the best decision might be to move the team. I say that only because I look at the example of the Miami Marlins, and [a new stadium] didn’t really solve their attendance issues. So from purely an attendance standpoint, somewhere else might be better.”

During the 2017 season, Tampa Bay finished last in the league in terms of attendance per game — 15,670 fans. The second lowest team, the Oakland A’s, had an average of 18,446 fans per game, almost 3,000 more.

On the opposite end of the spectrum for perspective, the Los Angeles Dodgers averaged 46,492 fans a game, which is just under triple the daily attendance for a Rays game.

The Rays have announced plans to build a new stadium, but they are still trying to fund it, although it’s unclear if that will actually increase attendance.

Mike Brest

Contributor

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