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Place a bet, you may get Rays tickets

ST. PETERSBURG — How badly do you want to buy tickets to the first World Series game ever played at Tropicana Field?

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Enough to risk $100 or more — just on the chance the Rays will make it?

If so, check out firstdibz.com, a kind of futures market for sports tickets where fans shell out money for games that might never be played.

Say you bid $100 on a World Series game at the Trop. If it's actually played there, you get to buy tickets for face value (on top of your bid). But, if the Rays don't make it, or the game turns out to be at the other team's field, then not only are you out on tickets, you also lose your bid.

"Yes, it's kind of a bummer, but you gotta have faith in your team," the Web site says.

The site is just one of many capitalizing on baseball fever sweeping the Tampa Bay area since the Rays made the playoffs. Ticket buyers and seekers are clicking keyboards looking to score.

Tickets — from the upper deck to fancy suites — can be found on sites like Stubhub and eBay. And it's legal because the state repealed its antiscalping law.

Is it a safe bet?

"Stubhub has a relationship with Major League Baseball," said Mark Fernandez, senior vice president for the Rays. "It's the one spot I can tell you where the purchase is guaranteed."

Michelle Morales of St. Petersburg has made about $600 selling Rays playoff tickets, some of which she and her husband acquired through the team's ticket lottery.

"Don't get me wrong, I love the Rays," said Morales, 26, who plans to go to the playoff games herself.

But these are trying times, and she couldn't turn down the chance to make some extra money using sites like craigslist.

Just be careful if you try to hawk your tickets the old-fashion way.

It's illegal everywhere around the general stadium area except between Gates 5 and 6, where fans will be allowed to sell tickets at least through the first two playoff rounds.

Place a bet, you may get Rays tickets 09/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:06pm]
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