ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are hoping a lower price point will lead to larger crowds in offering $10 tickets to all home games this season.
The tickets, in the Party Deck area above left field and select lower-level areas, will go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. via the MLB Ballpark app and raysbaseball.com, with at least 1,000 available for each game. To limit attempts at reselling, the tickets are not transferable.
“We want as many people to come out and see us play Rays baseball as as possible,” chief business officer Bill Walsh said. “We’re always looking for ways to make that happen. And we hope that this price point and, frankly, the consistency of it, of being every game and fans knowing what to expect, will generate some of that interest.”
The inventory of $10 tickets will be limited per game, but also adjustable, as the team can expand the applicable seating areas for games that aren’t likely to sell well. The $10 pricing will be available throughout the season.
In addition to being responsive to fans, another factor in offering the discounted pricing is improvement in the ticketing technology provided by Major League Baseball to prevent brokers from buying the $10 tickets and reselling them for more, thus allowing fans to have more access. For example, the tickets can’t be forwarded, and screen shots can’t be used.
“Getting affordably priced tickets into the hands of our fans has been always been a priority of ours, and we finally feel like we have the right tools to be able to do this in a way that these tickets actually remain out there in the market and our fans can purchase them,” Walsh said. “We’re very, very excited to be able to take advantage of it.”
The Rays last season drew 1,128,127 fans, their fewest for a season (not counting COVID-19 impacted 2020 and 2021) since 2003, and third-lowest in their 25 seasons at Tropicana Field. Their average of 13,927 ranked third-lowest in the majors, ahead of only Miami and Oakland.
Promotions schedule released
The Rays also released their promotions schedule, which includes 11 dates with giveaways for all fans, and eight more for kids 14-and-under.
Highlights of the all-fan giveaways include a Shane McClanahan bobblehead (Aug. 12), Wander Franco wood replica bat (July 21, distributed on the way out), Randy Arozarena soccer jersey (June 24) and reversible bucket hat (May 26).
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Giveaways for kids only include a Tyler Glasnow bracelet (May 28), Brandon Lowe “Dawg Tags” (April 23), Yandy Diaz arm sleeve (June 25) and Devil Rays socks (May 7). Giveaway items tied to the team’s 25th anniversary celebration (for April 2, July 9, Aug. 26 and Sept. 23) and other related events will be announced next week, ahead of the Feb. 18 Fan Fest.
The Rays also released a schedule of theme days, which will require special tickets and include a limited-edition promotional item. Among them: Pickleball (April 23), Marvel Super Hero (May 6), Star Wars (May 20), Pride (June 10) and Margaritaville (June 24). See raysbaseball.com for the full list.
Roster, arbitration updates
• Right-handed reliever Andrew Gross, who spent most of last season at Double-A Montgomery, was invited to spring training, pushing the roster to 75 with camp opening next week at the Disney complex.
• Reliever Ryan Thompson had his arbitration hearing Monday ($1.2 million request vs. $1 million offer), leaving the Rays with three: outfielder/DH Harold Ramirez ($2.2 million, $1.9 million) and relievers Jason Adam ($1.775 million, $1.55 million) and Colin Poche ($1.3 million, $1.175 million).
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