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Dick Vitale watches as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Tampa Bay Rays during game one of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 22, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

It’s the age old question – how can the Rays get fans to fill the seats at The Trop? Is there a way? Most would rather stay home and watch the game on TV instead of fighting traffic, paying about $15 for parking, $50 for a ticket and $15 for a hot dog and drink. But diehard Tampa Bay sports fan Dick Vitale says fans need to step up and get to Tropicana Field to see the first place Rays live. The team is having an incredible year following an appearance in the World Series. The team is way out ahead in first place and are doing it with one of the smallest payrolls in baseball.

In a tweet late last night, Vitale said “Hard to believe that @RaysBaseball winners of 12 of last 13 & 8 in a row play the @RedSox & only get 6,500 fans. That’s PATHETIC! Any city with a TEAM ala the Rays who have the best record in AL 83 -48 & lead @Yankees by 7 games would get a minimum of 25 K fans.”

Is it the fans’ fault? Or is it the team that needs to do better. The Lightning and Bucs don’t have attendance problems. But the Rays play far more games. Midweek games like last night are tough for working families to make. Here are some of the reactions from Twitter to Dickie V’s statement.

  • The Montreal Thing...

  • But that drive...

  • Dick has the money to spend that not all have...

  • Ticket prices...

  • A new stadium?

  • Dick responds!

  • Is it The Trop?

  • A list of complaints...

  • The Trop ...

  • TV ratings ...

  • We are in the middle of another surge...