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NAIMOLI UNSURE WHAT TO MAKE OF RAYS' SPRING TRAINING CROWDS
Published March 9, 1998
Through the Devil Rays' first six home games against MLB opponents, before Saturday's first sellout, the team had drawn an average of 4,393 to Al Lang Stadium, about three- fourths of the 6,100-seat capacity and seventh among 20 FL- based MLB clubs, according to Marc Topkin of the ST. PETE TIMES. However, because the Rays conduct spring training in their hometown, Managing General Partner Vince Naimoli said, "I'm not sure what to make of it." One line of thinking is that the Rays "are overexposed in the Tampa Bay market, that they are tapping out the same audience by selling regular- season tickets, tons of new merchandise and spring training tickets." Naimoli: "I'm sure there's something to what you're saying. If we trained somewhere else, we could probably sell more tickets. But there are a lot of intangible advantages to training here. I think there are far more pluses than negatives" (ST. PETE TIMES, 3/8).