The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team located in St. Petersburg, Florida who play in the East Division of the National League. The franchise was initially named the Tampa Bay Devil Rays when it was founded in 1998 and then adopted the name the Tampa Bay Rays in November 2007. The Rays were the only existing MLB franchise to never make the playoffs until 2008, when they finished first in their division and qualified for the World Series, which they subsequently lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Led by Joe Maddon from 2006 to 2014, the Rays remained competitive with six winning seasons, two division titles, a league title and four participations in the playoffs between 2008 and 2013. Success in recent years has been more limited - the Rays did secure a wild card berth in the 2022 season, before losing to the Cleveland Guardians.
The franchise value of the Tampa Bay Rays has been increasing in recent years, reaching 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, compared to 323 million U.S. dollars in 2012. This is nevertheless less than the average MLB franchise value, which currently stands at around 2.07 billion U.S. dollars. The team generated about 252 million U.S. dollars in revenue in the 2021 season and the operating income of the Rays for that season amounted to around 45 million U.S. dollars.
Over a million people attend games of the Tampa Bay Rays each season at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, which has been home to the team since 1998. The average regular season attendance stood at around 14 thousand in 2022, down significantly from the peak of 23,147 spectators in the 2009 season. The average ticket price for games of the Rays has grown steadily over the past few years, with fans having to hand over around 26.13 U.S. dollars for a ticket during the 2022 season. The team’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have over 1.3 million fans and followers combined.
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