May 24, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The AL Wild Card Series opener between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays drew an announced crowd of just 19,704 to Tropicana Field on Tuesday, the lowest for a postseason game since the 1919 World Series other than during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The crowd for the 4-0 loss to Texas was roughly 5,300 below the listed capacity of Tropicana Field.

The game began at 3:07 p.m. and the start time was not scheduled by Major League Baseball until Sunday evening.

Game 7 of the 1919 World Series drew 13,923 at Redland Field in Cincinnati; the Reds won the best-of-nine series against the Chicago White Sox in eight games, but Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned eight players on the “Black Sox” for life for throwing games.

The Rays routinely rank among baseball’s lowest in home attendance and drew 1.44 million this season. The team averaged 17,781 for 81 home dates this season; only the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics had a worse average attendance.

Tampa Bay announced plans last month to build a 30,000-seat ballpark to replace Tropicana Field, the domed stadium where they’ve played since the club’s inaugural season in 1998.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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