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Seats in section 144 of Tropicana Field (right field) were mostly empty as the Tampa Bay Rays played the Minnesota Twins on April 14, 2011. Baseball attendance has continued to lag, and now the Lightning's playoff run is further eating into the Rays' fan base.   [EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN, Times]

Rays' attendance woes continue as Lightning captivates Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Tropicana Field's dome protects the Rays from all manner of foul weather, but this year nothing can shield the local baseball club from the Lightning. Tampa Bay's hard-charging hockey team is deep into a playoff run, and the region's sports fans, fair-weather to die-hard, are caught in the storm. T …