The Tampa Bay Rays announced they will not sell tickets in the upper-tier sections should the Rays make the playoffs. These same seats are covered by a blue tarp during the regular season. Apparently the Rays decided 7,500 fans would enjoy the game better from the parking lot.

Should the Rays make the playoffs, don’t look for the team to increase capacity at the Trop. It is now 36,048; used to be 43,700. According to a Rays’ spokesman, the team has no plans to unwrap that light blue tarp from those top-tier seats.

“We would not remove the tarp,” states Rays’ Vice President for Communications Rick Vaughn. “The building operates well at the current capacity. The seats beneath the tarps don’t provide the experience we expect to deliver to our fans.

To us, this reasoning seems skeptical at best. Might the Rays be more worried that some, or all, of the extra seats would go unsold during any potential playoff game? No team wants the stigma of not being able to sell out a playoff game. Especially a team like the Rays, whose fan support is already questioned by the rest of baseball.

Of course, this could also be a business decision to increase the apparent demand of playoff tickets, by decreasing the potential supply. This is not unlike that bar/club that makes people wait outside when there are only 20 people inside. [Ed. note: Decreasing supply of playoff tickets may also increase season ticket sales...See comments]

Either way, it is hard to believe the Rays would pass up the opportunity to take in nearly $2 million in ticket sales alone, not too mention the extra dollars spent at concession stands.

The spokesman did suggest Major League Baseball might overrule the Rays and force the team to sell the extra tickets.

So let’s hear it: Do you think the Rays would have trouble selling 43,700 tickets for a playoff game?

Rays Not Planning To Increase Capacity For Playoffs [Tampa Tribune]

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15 Comments

  1. Sean G says:

    they will sellout, but barely. And if it is just barely, that will severely hurt ticket scalper prices. And as much as teams hate scalpers, they love when the news reports that "Playoff tickets are going for $XXX".And that gets back to the "perceived demand" you were talking about.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    i really am worried that a first-round matchup with the Twins will not sellout and THAT will become the story

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Its not a bad move. They are really pushing the season tickets right now as the only way to get playoff tickets. Of course that is BS but by having this story in the press it makes it seem like there are fewer tickets available and everyone better sign up for season tickets. One season ticket is worth a lot of upper deck playoff tickets.

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  4. David says:

    what is the minimum season ticket package that you would have to buy to get playoff tickets?

    and if that is the case, might they just decide to open the upper deck later after the season ticket scam, errr i mean promotion.

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  5. The Professor says:

    there is no minimum plan. just a minimum deposit. A minimum deposit of $150 towards a season ticket plan guarantees a "postseason ticket package" in the upper deck. There are also packages for up to a $500 deposit.

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  6. Michael says:

    A friend I talked to that works for the team (in the Marketing and/or Sales Dept) told me that MLB might be able to make them open the additional seats for the World Series, but she seemed to think that for the first two rounds it is entirely up to the team and they will not be opening those seats. I'm inclined to agree that this is a bad idea, especially if I'm not able to get a playoff ticket. She claims their main concern is that those seats are 'obstructed view', as in part of the field is blocked by the catwalks or whatever. But hey, for the first time the Rays make the playoffs I just want to be in the building -- I don't remember anyone making a stink about obstructed views in those seats for the Inaugural Game.

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  7. Sean says:

    Ever sat in those seats that are tarped off? They all have views that are blocked by the "C" ring. I waited around until the last minute for opening day tix a few years back when they were still open and could not see anything past the infield. Myself and my friends were all fairly angry at our situation.

    If I had to choose between sitting in those seats and watching the game on TV I'd choose the latter. The front office has had a firm focus on fan experience the last three seasons and selling obstructed view tickets isn't in their plan.

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  8. Steve says:

    I think it would sell out, because it's new. Although the fans in this area leave reason to be a little afraid. It took a mighty long time for the Bucs-Giants playoff game to sell out (and the Giants fans played a part in that)

    The Lightning offer very cheap upperdeck seats (the actual price escapes me) the day of a playoff game. If not for the deal, who knows if those seats would sell.

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  9. Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

    if they are obstructed, just sell them cheaper. who cares. let the fans decide if it is worth it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    how many non-opening day, non-Yankees, non-Red Sox games have the Rays ever sold out? 1? 2?

    The first playoff game might sell out. And maybe the second round if they make it. But that's it.

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  11. rz says:

    they should open about thousand of those covered seats and sell them the day of the game for a lower price like the Tampa Bay Lightning,

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  12. Anonymous says:

    hey anonymous guy fuck u, ur prolly a yankess fan no one wants you around. Look up the fucking numbers. hundreds asshole.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    i think its retarded not to open up those seats,i live an hour away from the trop but i still managed to get to 15 games this year,im 17 i have no money to get expensive tickets,or sign up for season tickets,i just want to go see the rays in the playoffs,where ever i may have to sit,when people who live close to the stadium and only go once or twice but can afford more expensive tickets!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I just purchased 2 tickets for Game 6 tomorrow earlier today on Ebay. It was noted "Obstructed View" and still I took them for $80 a piece. Just for shits and giggles, I called the Rays info line...told the woman about this article and asked if my 2 tickets happened to be in the previously covered area...she said yes...I just laughed and said, "Oh well, at least I'm still gonna be there to witness history!" So she says that I might not fully see a pop fly or a part of the outfield due primarily to catwalks...who cares as long as I get to be there and see the Rays spank the Red Socks and take the series! Being a Yankee fan while growing up in NY for 20 some years and now a Rays fan living in St Pete, I can say on behalf of both teams ===>> F%#K Boston!!

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  15. hellrayser says:

    Yes.

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