New York Yankees president Randy Levine took shots at the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins for failing to boost attendance as they receive revenue-sharing money from bigger-market teams.
Levine made the remarks last week at Sportico’s Invest in Sports Conference. He was with team owner Hal Steinbrenner, who made news when he suggested personnel changes could be coming in the organization.
However, Levine had a bone to pick with the Rays and Marlins. Tampa Bay ranked 27th in average attendance with 17,781 people even with one of the best records in baseball. The team’s lack of attendance was notably highlighted during the American League Wild Card Series. Miami was 29th in average attendance with 14,356.
“A lot more focus has to be on individual teams to do better and not just rely on revenue sharing,” Levine said. “You can’t have two Florida teams averaging 15,000 fans. You can’t have it. You don’t go into an NFL stadium or an NBA arena and see that. And I think that there’s been a dependency issue that’s got to get better.
“The commissioner has done an incredible job, but now it’s on individual teams. Instead of complaining and whining, ‘We need more money,’ you got to take some responsibility.”
The Rays and Marlins made the playoffs while the Yankees did not.
Tampa Bay started the season on a 13-game winning streak but failed to win the division. Miami had to scratch and claw its way at the end of the year to clinch a spot but failed to move onto the division series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.