Rays maintain/lower most ticket prices, move up some game times
The Rays are slightly reducing or maintaining prices on more than 60 percent of their tickets for next season, and moving weeknight game times up a half-hour to 6:40 p.m. during April and May.
Those were the two biggest items in the information released today. Most of the increases and decreases were minimal, such as $1 or $2 in either direction, and there also was some consolidation of price of seating and ticket categories, along with the continuation of varied pricing based on opponents and day of the week.
For example, while the lowest priced ticket went up from $8 to $9, the Rays are making that price available at considerably more games. In 2010, the $8 upper box/upper reserved ticket was only available for five games; in 2011 the $9 upper box/upper reserved ticket will be available for 30 games.
“Our basic philosophy was to make sure we had a large number of seats continue to be available at a real value for our fans,’’ senior vice president Mark Fernandez said. “We’ll have over a million tickets for 25 bucks or less and 30 games with a $9 ticket. We’re staying really consistent with being one of the most affordable teams in sports.’’
Also, the Rays are likely going to reduce capacity at Tropicana Field by about 2,500 by extending the tarps that cover the seats at the top of the upper deck, creating what Fernandez said will be a more "intimate" environment with about 34,500 seats available.
The Rays will have four different pricing categories, with the highest – Diamond – for the nine Friday, Saturday and Sunday games against the Red Sox and Cardinals. Those tickets range from $19-$300.
Next highest is Platinum, for the 12 Monday-Thursday games against the Yankees and Red Sox, plus the April 1 season opener vs. Those tickets range from $17-$275.
The Gold games are the 29 remaining Friday-Saturday-Sunday games, with the range from $12-$255.
The Silver games are the other 30 weekday games, with the range from $9-$210.
Season tickets, which offer a 25-30 percent discount, can be reserved now by going to raysbaseball.com, calling 888-FAN-RAYS or visiting the stadium or Tampa team store. Individual game tickets will be on sale in February.
The Rays will continue to allow fans to bring food and some beverages into the stadium and provide limited free parking for cars with four or more.
The 6:40 weekday start during the first two months of the season is in response to fan polling showing getting home earlier was more important when school is in session. Those games had started at 7:10.
Saturday game times haven’t been set, but will remain in the evening, and the Rays plan to continue their highly successful concert series. Sunday games will remain at 1:40.
Here are the prices:
Diamond Platinum Gold Silver
Seating Section (9 gms) (13 gms) (29gms) (30 games)
Avantair Home Plate Club $300 $275 $255 $210
Whitney Bank Club $175 $155 $125 $115
Whitney Bank Club 105 $170 $150 $120 $110
Fieldside Box $142 $115 $92 $80
Lower Infield Box $100 $80 $66 $55
Lower Box $70 $62 $50 $40
Press Level $50 $46 $37 $28
Baseline Box $39 $35 $29 $21
Outfield $27 $25 $21 $17
Upper Box $23 $21 $16 $9
tbt* Party Deck $19 $17 $12 $9
And here is the team press release:
NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF RAYS TICKETS WILL STAY THE SAME PRICE
OR DECREASE IN 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The 2010 American League East Champion Tampa Bay Rays announced that prices for 62 percent of their tickets will remain the same or decrease for the 2011 season.
In addition, the Rays will change game times at Tropicana Field next season. Monday through Thursday games in April and May will start at 6:40 p.m. All other weekday games – including all Fridays – will start at 7:10 p.m. with the exception of nine dates scattered throughout the season. Saturday game times will be announced at a later date, and Sundays will start at 1:40 p.m.
“Our ticket pricing, as well as the change in game times, reflects our commitment to keeping Rays baseball at Tropicana Field affordable and accessible to our fans, especially for families,” said team President Matt Silverman. “Upper Deck pricing for 30 of our games is $9, and more than one million tickets are priced at $25 or less.”
In 2009 the Rays were named by ESPN the Magazine as the most affordable team among the four major professional sports and in 2010 were ranked third out of the 122 teams in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Rays will continue to provide carpoolers access to free parking in team-controlled lots. As in 2010, vehicles with four or more passengers will continue to park free in team-controlled lots for all Sunday games, subject to availability. For all other games, the first 100 cars with four or more will park for free up to an hour before game time, with other main lot Tropicana Field parking rates ranging from $15 to $20 per vehicle.
The Rays will also continue to be one of the few teams with the family-friendly policy allowing fans to bring food and select beverages into the ballpark.
For 2011, there will be four categories of individual ticket pricing: Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver. All ticket prices for each game are subject to change at the Rays discretion. Diamond games are all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games versus the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Platinum games include Monday through Thursday games vs. the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox as well as Opening Day, April 1 vs. the Baltimore Orioles when the Rays will raise the 2010 American League East Championship banner. Gold games include the remaining Friday, Saturday and Sunday games. Silver games include the remaining weekday games in which both Upper Box and Upper Reserved seats will be $9.
“While we emphasize affordability in our single-game prices, the best value for our fans will continue to be season tickets,” said Rays Senior Vice President Mark Fernandez. “Season ticket holders receive the largest discount off individual game prices, and they have access to our best seat locations during the regular season and, as in 2008 and 2010, for the postseason.”
As in seasons past, Sunday games will continue to be “Family Fun Days.” Family Fun Days feature discounted ticket options for families, special promotional giveaways for kids and the opportunity for youngsters to run the bases after the game.
The Rays will continue to offer postgame concerts on some Saturdays. Details will be available in the coming months.
Group party area reservations are currently being accepted for the 2011 season. For information on purchasing group tickets or to reserve a group party area or suite, fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS.
Fans may reserve their 2011 Rays Season Tickets by calling 888-FAN-RAYS or visiting raysbaseball.com, raysbeisbol.com, or visiting the Rays office at Tropicana Field or the Rays Tampa office at 400 N. Tampa St.