Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg had hoped a World Series berth in 2008 would translate into crowded stands in 2009. For the most part, it hasn't happened. The team, which set a goal of matching the major-league average attendance, has fallen far below that during the season's first half, which ended Sunday. While attendance has increased by about 2,500 fans per game from 2008, the Rays remain among the poorest drawing teams. "On a relative basis, we're not shooting for the moon as far as people coming in and packing the place," Sternberg said. "We're looking to be average." Average, in baseball, is about 30,000 fans. The Rays are averaging about 23,000. Here's a game-by-game breakdown of the team's first-half attendance along with its performance. While Saturday and Sunday games draw relatively well, on Monday through Friday, empty seats often outnumber filled ones. "We tackled Saturdays, tackled Sundays, made them sort of go-to events," Sternberg said. "Now my focus is Friday."
Plenty of seats available to see Tampa Bay Rays; team not matching major-league average attendance
How the Rays compare
The American League teams ranked by their record. On the right, the average attendance as a percentage of the stadium's capacity.