PORT CHARLOTTE — Everyone loves to see their home team win, right?
The Rays are trying to make that even more rewarding for their fans with an innovative new ticket plan unveiled Wednesday — the Rays Win Pack.
For $99, fans select any four home games to attend. If they pick winners and the Rays come out on top in all four of those games, they get a voucher to select another game for free. And if the Rays win that one, they get to pick another, and so on, until they see the Rays lose or the season ends.
“We are always brainstorming ways to get Rays fans to attend another game or two each season,’’ team president Matt Silverman said. “This gives our fans an extra rooting interest and rewards them for their winning touch.’’
Having finished at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance repeatedly, the Rays are trying several methods to spur sales.
Another, popular with some other teams, is their first offering of a Ballpark Pass.
Under that plan, fans can go to as many games as they want — although on a standing-room-only ticket with no assigned seat — for a flat fee, $36 a month, which works out to $2.67 per game if they went to all 81.
Pass sales will be limited and are not transferable. Fans will be billed six times during the season but can cancel at any time. Also, upgrades to assigned seats will be available for purchase.
And the Rays announced the return of the Flex Pack program, where fans get five lower-level tickets for $99 to be used however they want for any games except those against the Red Sox and Yankees.
Also of note, the Rays are offering reduced prices for tickets in the party deck above leftfield, with tickets to more than half their games for $12 or less, including 32 for as low as $10.
They also will have some in-season specials, in addition to planned deals for kids and seniors, though discontinued the popular $7.11 Friday night deal.
“There’s a couple things we’re trying this year,’’ Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. “Affordability won’t be an issue, and never should be an issue, with attending a baseball game, and especially attending a Rays baseball game.’’
He said with the plans Rays tickets already were “amazingly affordable” and now will be “ridiculously affordable. Amazingly, ridiculously, silly affordable.’’
Add that to the team coming off a 96-win season that included its first trip to the postseason in six years, and two 32,000-plus crowds for weekday playoff games, and Sternberg expects a boost from last season’s average of 14,734, second worst in the majors.
“The excitement level is there, people are really eager about the team,’’ he said. “I’m anticipating attendance to be up this year, as it really should be.’’
Single-game sales open to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, through the MLB Ballpark app and raysbaseball.com, then at other outlets on Monday. Though the Rays said Tuesday that ticketing will be done only through the app and on mobile devices, meaning no more paper tickets, Sternberg said the box office and team store staff will accommodate fans who don’t have smartphones, and it will be a “frictionless” process.
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Sales of the three new plans launch at 10 a.m. Monday through the app and at raysbaseball.com/ticketpacks, where more information is available.