Tampa Bay Rays raise individual ticket prices for '09
The Tampa Bay Rays, coming off their first-ever playoff appearance (and World Series berth), have slightly raised individual ticket prices for the 2009 season.
Rays president Matt Silverman said Monday that about 70-percent of the single-game tickets will increase by $1 (for example, upper deck goes from $9 to $10 for regular game, from $14-16 for prime pricing). But in an effort to bolster their season-ticket base - the "lifeblood" of any baseball team - Silverman said the club is also increasing the discount for season ticket holders (up to 35 percent).
Silverman said the club is cognizant of the struggling national economy, but felt - especially with the continued free parking for cars with four or more, and the ability to bring in food and drink - it still makes the Rays tickets one of the most affordable in major league baseball.
"In order to continue fielding a team that makes the entire Tampa Bay region proud, our family of season ticket holders has to grow," Silverman said. "The pitch to a season ticket holder is an easy one; sit in the best seats, support your home team, and enjoy considerable savings off individual ticket prices."
Most everything else at Tropicana Field will remain the same; vehicles with four or more passengers can park for free, you can still bring in your food and drink, the upper-deck tarp will remain.
But here are some of the changes:
*The club added a "marquee" pricing category for the 11 Saturday night games (which will either feature a post-game concert or premium giveaway). The pricing for those is between the regular and "prime" pricing (games with Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies).
*Vehicles with less than four passengers will be charged $15 to park in the main Trop lot, $10 for the remote lots.
*There will be an increase in the surcharge for those tickets bought within five hours of game time (now $3-$5).
When Silverman was asked last week about the potential for higher ticket costs, he pointed to how even with a price bump, the Rays still offer one of the most affordable experiences in baseball.
"We could have increased ticket (prices) the last couple years, but we haven't," Silverman said. "And if you benchmark our seats against others in baseball, we're at or near the bottom in almost every pricing category."
The Rays posted losing seasons in their first 10 years of baseball (never winning more than 70 games), but made a huge turnaround in 2008, racking up 97 victories and winning the American League East. They advanced to the World Series and lost in five games to the Phillies, but Silverman said the sellout crowds at the Trop throughout the playoff run learned the value of the tickets.
"The experience our fans had, especially during the pennant run and post season shows the value of their tickets and their investment," Silverman said. " They enjoyed it, and a number of ticket holders actually benefited financially - they were actually a lot who covered some of their costs by selling tickets."
The Rays sold out eight home playoff games within minutes this year, and attendance this season increased 30 percent, the largest spike in the majors. But while the Rays shared baseball's second best record, they finished 26th out of 30 teams in tickets sold.
TBT Party Deck - $10
Upper Deck - $10
Outfield - $17
Loge box - $22
Press Level - $27
Baseline Box - $22
Lower box - $44
Lower infield box - $55
Fieldside box - $85
Whitney Bank Club - $115
Home Plate Club - $210
MARQUEE GAMES (11 Saturday night games)
TBT Party Deck - $13
Upper Deck - $13
Outfield - $20
Loge box - $31
Press Level - $38
Baseline Box - $31
Lower box - $52
Lower infield box - $65
Fieldside box - $95
Whitney Bank Club - $130
Home Plate Club - $240
PRIME GAMES (vs Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies)
TBT Party Deck - $16
Upper Deck - $16
Outfield - $24
Loge box - $38
Press Level - $47
Baseline Box - $38
Lower box - $60
Lower infield box - $75
Fieldside box - $120
Whitney Bank Club - $150
Home Plate Club - $270