With many fans feeling bruised by the comments on attendance made by Evan Longoria and David Price, the Rays have announced that they will be giving away 20,000 tickets to tonight’s home finale against the Orioles.

From the press release:

The Rays will make available 20,000 free tickets to tomorrow night’s regular-season finale against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Tickets will be distributed at all gates beginning at 4:45 p.m.

Tickets will be distributed one per person on a first-come, first-served basis and will be given away upon entry to the ballpark. Tickets may not be picked up in advance. The complimentary tickets will be available in the Press Level, Baseline Box, Loge Box, Outfield, Upper Box and Upper Reserved sections.

Fans who have purchased tickets to tomorrow night’s game in the aforementioned seating areas may exchange them at Guest Services for a Lower Box seat upon their arrival, based on availability.

This is a very nice gesture on the part of the Rays. But we hope the Rays know what they are doing, because this move is not without problems.

  1. What if the Rays are unable to give away all 20,000 tickets? Tomorrow we will be inundated with stories about how the Rays “can’t even give away tickets.” That sounds like fun! *head meets desk*
  2. What about the 16,000 tickets that were already sold? The Rays are basically screwing the fans that were already on board. Sure they can upgrade their ticket (based on availability), but that is not helping their bottom line. Wouldn’t a better offer have been a ticket to a game next season?

So here’s hoping the Rays get a “sellout” tonight (or at least something close) and that they haven’t pissed off their most loyal customers too much.

 
 

7 Comments

  1. Brixology says:

    The first problem is the key. Seems like they are conducting an experiment to see if the economy is the real answer. I’m torn here, because I would love to see a stadium in Tampa, so part of me wants them to not be able to give away all the tickets. That would lend some credence to the argument that the location is the problem.

    On a related note, have you addressed the fact that the Tampa Yanks may move to Orlando? Does that open the door to a new stadium across from the RayJay?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      We mentioned it briefly, but I don’t think it is a done deal yet. And even if it does happen, the Yankees say they will keep their Spring Training home at Steinbrenner. So I’m not sure that lot will open up anytime soon.

  2. The BIZ says:

    Cork,

    did you know this. in 1995 the yankees average attendance was 24,361. Which was the season of their first play off appearnce in 15 years. 1996 was only 28k a game. I realize there wasa strike in 94, but when new york faced attendance challenges they did not do much better at all despite a market 10x the size.

    • Hal says:

      I’m not a huge fan of Colin Cowherd, but I listen and was shocked yesterday to hear him make much the same point yesterday on his ESPN radio show. To the best of my knowledge, he’s the only voice at ESPN that has even mentioned that drawing 2 million in this market is not all that bad and very comparable to much bigger markets of year’s past.

  3. Beth says:

    I think we should just applaud this gesture. Yes, it’s a response to yesterday’s blow-up, but you can also see it as a kind of open house to celebrate a team that is playoff bound. Play-offs are for people who can write a check for $1000. Tonight is for everyone else. I hope the Rays community relations people are working to get the word out and help local community groups get busloads of people over.

    As for those holding tickets: they are given the option to upgrade, so there’s something in it for them. They also get the benefit of NOT having to stand on what will probably be a long line in the late afternoon heat to claim their tickets. And hopefully they will treat this as an opportunity to be part of a big crowd on a celebratory night.

  4. Sean says:

    I’m not gonna lie guys, I’m scared crapless of them not being able to get rid of all the tickets.

    We will never hear the end of it. Never. You think it’s bad now? Please. If they can’t GIVE the tickets away, man. I won’t enjoy my day off tomorrow, that’s for sure.

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