Count Rays outfielder Tommy Pham among those who notices the number of empty seats at Tropicana Field. In an interview with MLB Network Radio on Thursday, Pham said, “It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all.”
Pham began the season with the Cardinals in St. Louis, but was traded to the Rays ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The Rays finished the year having drawn 1,154,973 fans to the stadium while the Cardinals brought 3,403,587, according to Baseball Reference.
There has been some talk, now that new stadium plans are dead, that the Rays could be moved out of St. Petersburg, Florida. On that subject, Pham said, “Do I think something has to happen, whether it be a new ballpark, maybe a new city? I think so.”
The Rays were quite competitive last year, winning 90 games despite a tiny payroll and a lack of fan support. Still, it can’t be fun for Pham and others to play in a mostly-empty stadium on a daily basis. Pham is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so he’s stuck in St. Pete until after the 2021 season unless the Rays decide to trade him at some point.