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]