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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Rays offering $5 tickets for next 5 home games; flash sale starts Tuesday morning at 10

The Rays are taking away one of the excuses for people not showing up to support their team, offering $5 tickets to each of the next five home games.

The $5 tickets will be available via a Summer Special flash sale from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 11:59 p.m. Thursday only at raysbaseball.com/specials, with 5,000 available for each game: June 10, 11, 12 vs. the A’s; June 13, 14 vs. the Angels.

There are still ticketing fees, through the Rays arranged for a reduction, to $1 per ticket and $1.50 per order, so two tickets would cost $13.50 total.

Sales are limited to eight tickets per game per person. Seating will vary between the 100, 200 and party deck levels, with assignments made the day before the game via the MLB Ballpark app. (Tickets bought together will be seated together.)

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays

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   1. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: June 04, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5848268)
Maybe if they offered $5 with each ticket they could get folks to attend their games...

In all seriousness, I don't know what the Rays have to do to get folks to attend games. They are as consistently good a team there is in the AL, and they do it in interesting ways with young talent - I can't believe no one attends. I assume it's the stadium and the population just not being that into baseball...
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5848277)
I assume it's the stadium and the population just not being that into baseball...


I think it's the stadium itself, the stadium's location and the area skewing toward older transplants who have probably maintained previous baseball allegiances.

Typically, their TV and radio ratings are more middle of the pack or even good, suggesting the area itself is not baseball averse.
   3. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 04, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5848326)
FWIW: The NFL franchise in Tampa had the 3rd-lowest average home attendance in 2018, ahead of only Cincy and the LA Chargers (who had an unusual situation, or else they would have been well up on the list). They were only at 82.5% of capacity, one of the lowest in the league.
   4. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 04, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5848332)
Tampa seems like the perfect storm for bad attendance.

- Just a terrible terrible stadium
- Constant changing of players as they compete on a thin budget
- Metro area with many transplants
- Stadium location and metro area topography which creates challenges to get to the stadium
   5. KronicFatigue Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5848412)
Slightly off topic, but when articles are written about the ever-increasing costs of tickets, are they measuring the listed price, or the actual price of tickets spent? Anecdotally, I've bought tickets to 7 different Mets game this season, and only paid the listed price once. I feel like I can't go a week w/o getting an email with a new sale. My latest/best sale was getting 5 dollar tickets for any game I wanted other than Subway series or some 1969 reunion game. Granted, the seats aren't good, but it's over 75% discount.

It's always been this way. A decade ago, I routinely jumped on Kodak $5 tickets for Yankees games.
   6. BrianBrianson Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5848416)
And yet the NHL franchise in Tampa is doing so well in attendance! (or at least, have been above average since at least 2010)
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5848435)
party deck

Ain't no party like a Tampa party, amirite?
   8. Bote Man sez Davey is MoY Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5848579)
- Just a terrible terrible stadium
- Constant changing of players as they compete on a thin budget
- Metro area with many transplants
- Stadium location and metro area topography which creates challenges to get to the stadium


The lesser Washington, D.C. area is awash in transplants, at least that's the Conventional Wisdom. I lived there for most of my adult life before escaping to Florida and had friends and family from there, but there is a good transition with each new administration and defense contract. The metro area now sprawls far and wide, merging with Baltimore and pretty soon will be a northern suburb of Richmond (or vice-versa) with hellish traffic any time the Sun is up in the sky. The MetroRail subway system goes out of its way to make it inconvenient to attend Nationals Park with their refusal to offer service late at night. Yet the Nationals don't seem to have a problem filling the ballpark when the team on the field doesn't stink to high Heaven, and even when they stunk they had good numbers.

The Nationals team on the field the past few seasons has changed pretty substantially as the regulars have gotten injured early on and been replaced by call-ups or acquisitions. Most recently, Howie Kendrick has been a living advertisement for those "energy pills for older gents" while putting on an entertaining show as a replacement. Face-of-the-franchise Ryan Zimmerman is as good as retired with his persistent plantar fasciitis problems, the Bryce Harper Circus has left town for good, and the team that was expected to march to the World's Series uncontested has been sputtering so far all season, yet they have good attendance.

I'm just not sure that the standard list of reasons works for Tampa. I don't know what the answer is, but I have a good idea of what it is not.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5848583)
the Yankees STILL offer decent seats for $5 for midweek games.

and I did a 10-minute survey yesterday for the Mets in exchange for two free field-level seats for a midweek game.

small market, sure, but still.....
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: June 05, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5848588)
The lesser Washington, D.C. area is awash in transplants, at least that's the Conventional Wisdom. I lived there for most of my adult life before escaping to Florida and had friends and family from there, but there is a good transition with each new administration and defense contract. The metro area now sprawls far and wide, merging with Baltimore and pretty soon will be a northern suburb of Richmond (or vice-versa) with hellish traffic any time the Sun is up in the sky. The MetroRail subway system goes out of its way to make it inconvenient to attend Nationals Park with their refusal to offer service late at night. Yet the Nationals don't seem to have a problem filling the ballpark when the team on the field doesn't stink to high Heaven, and even when they stunk they had good numbers.

The Nationals team on the field the past few seasons has changed pretty substantially as the regulars have gotten injured early on and been replaced by call-ups or acquisitions. Most recently, Howie Kendrick has been a living advertisement for those "energy pills for older gents" while putting on an entertaining show as a replacement. Face-of-the-franchise Ryan Zimmerman is as good as retired with his persistent plantar fasciitis problems, the Bryce Harper Circus has left town for good, and the team that was expected to march to the World's Series uncontested has been sputtering so far all season, yet they have good attendance.

I'm just not sure that the standard list of reasons works for Tampa. I don't know what the answer is, but I have a good idea of what it is not.


Yeah, these two are like spitting images. The Nats only have one guy who has been with the club 15 years, one who has been there a mere 10, one who has been there seven and two who have been there just five. That's just like the Rays.

Each area's subway system is equally inefficient.

On every list of worst stadia, it's always Suncoast Dome-Nationals Park in some order.

And, 5.5 million in the metro area is indistinguishable from 3 million.

I don't know for sure what the cause of the Rays' attendance woes are, but I know looking at the Nats' middling attendance history doesn't tell us much.
   11. . Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5848602)
I don't know for sure what the cause of the Rays' attendance woes are


The fundamental problem is that the area stinks as a major league baseball market, as does Miami. I mean, yeah, we can imagine/counterfactual ourselves to a point that if everything had been perfect in Tampa from Day 1 -- perfect stadium/mallpark, perfect location, winning team, etc. -- that things might have been different and we can even do the same thing starting today. But no one is going to put any money into the proposition (*), given the risk, and therefore this hypothetically, theoretically successful business won't get off the ground. All manner of theoretically successful businesses never get off the ground because of this risk, so there's no need to shed a bunch of tears for a single entertainment business in Tampa, Florida.

The notion that somehow major league sports in and of themselves "improve a community" has long since been proven silly. Maybe -- maybe -- in the pre-internet days, but no way now. It's a niche entertainment business, nothing more, and all the people who run it think it's no more than that.

(*) Most likely there isn't the desire of any private party to invest a single private dollar in the necessary physical plant. Certainly there's no desire to invest any more than maybe like $25M. That tells one all one needs to know.
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 05, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5848633)
The fundamental problem is that the area stinks as a major league baseball market, as does Miami.

Bingo. Florida's demographics are perfectly suited for March, when its population is swelled by northern baseball loving retirees going South for the winter. When they all go home, there's nobody left other than a few thousand fans of the "national" teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc. Neither of those cities should ever have been awarded a franchise to begin with.
   13. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 05, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5848688)
Bingo. Florida's demographics are perfectly suited for March, when its population is swelled by northern baseball loving retirees going South for the winter. When they all go home, there's nobody left other than a few thousand fans of the "national" teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc. Neither of those cities should ever have been awarded a franchise to begin with.


Not sure if this is what you mean but Florida is not an state over-run by just retirees

For lack of a better comparison
Pre k - 12 enrollment
Florida - 2,756,944
New York - 2,741,185

from www.edweek.org
   14. Bote Man sez Davey is MoY Posted: June 05, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5848699)
Baseball is dying.
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 05, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5848701)
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-us-states-with-the-oldest-population.html

Rank State Percentage of population over 65 years old
1 Florida 19.06 %
2 Maine 18.24 %
3 West Virginia 17.78 %
4 Vermont 17.02 %
5 Pennsylvania 16.69 %
   16. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 05, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5848707)
I agree it has a lot of retirees, just most people don't give a second thought to the fact that it does have a ton of young people too. And really it is 4 percentage points away from the median state on that list. The quote of "When they all go home, there's nobody left other than a few thousand fans of the "national" teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc..." does not really cover what the state looks like when the retirees (the snow birds) are not here.

I have lived here for 7 years now and the only indication that the retirees have come down from the north is for a couple weeks the expressways have more moving vans or trailers. Otherwise I see less 65+ people on a day to day basis than when I lived in Chicago.

For the most part the retirees are clumped together in their own villages/towns, which is why I don't see many of them. Which is pretty funny to drive through, there are golf cart lanes on those roads but no golf courses because the seniors love to get around on them.

Part of the problem for the Rays is that the stadium in St Petersburg is a lot closer to some of those older villages/towns and not near the young parts of Tampa.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 05, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5848711)
Right, Miami is a big market and while it has a lot of retirees, I am sure there are more young/middle aged people, in absolute numbers, in the Miami metro area than Cleveland, Milwaukee or probably a dozen other MLB markets. And I doubt it is any more spread out than those markets.

Tampa may very well just be a bad market. It sure seems that way and if the people of that city don't like the very good baseball team that they've been blessed with, I don't see any reason to try to force it on them. I mean, you can blame the Marlins' attendance on bad management, but I'm not sure what the excuse in Tampa is.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 05, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5848716)
Given the demographics of baseball fans, the state with the most retirees should be the best market.
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 05, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5848721)
Part of the problem for the Rays is that the stadium in St Petersburg is a lot closer to some of those older villages/towns and not near the young parts of Tampa.
Pinellas County, where the Rays are located, for many years was the US county where the death rate most exceeded the birth rate. And yet it still managed to grow, because so many old people (including my in-laws) moved there. Compare the age pyramid for Pinellas County with that of Erie County, New York, which contains Buffalo and which I chose because it's no one's idea of youth and dynamism.

One thing that hasn't been brought up is that by most measures Tampa is one of the poorer metro areas in MLB. By gross metropolitan product it's in the same ballpark as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, a bit above KC, and well above Milwaukee. All of those places are smaller than metro Tampa, and eyeballing it I'd guess that each of them exceeds Tampa in gross mtropolitan product per capita. Among places without teams, Austin is roughly similar to Tampa in GMP (with a million fewer people), while the Inland Empire, Portland, and Charlotte have larger GMPs.

The thing about Tampa is that there's not necessarily one thing that makes it a terrible market, but it's near the bottom in basically every category you can think of.
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 05, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5848724)
Given the demographics of baseball fans, the state with the most retirees should be the best market.
To stereotype, retirees don't like to drive after dark. It's almost impossible to get to the Trop by any means other than a car. I think this dynamic explains a part of the apparent contradiction of a team with terrible attendance but decent TV ratings.
   21. Tony S Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:43 AM (#5848922)
We don't know whether Miami is a good baseball market or not, and we won't know until they actually put a major league organization there.

Tampa seems to be a perfect storm of bad factors. Crappy stadium in an inconvenient location and suboptimal demographics. I personally don't think there are bad markets, just bad organizations, but Tampa could be the exception that proves the rule.
   22. manchestermets Posted: June 06, 2019 at 06:24 AM (#5848924)
Is there a good location for a Tampa Bay ballpark? I don't know the area, but from a map it looks like whichever side of the bay you put it, it's going to be a pain to get to from the other side. Or you could put it at the top of the bay, so that it's a pain for everyone to get to.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5848998)
It's not just the Rays. The Bucs are always near the bottom of the NFL in attendance, and even in the year after their Super Bowl win they were only 18th out of 30.
   24. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5849013)
I have a theory about why the Nats can sell tickets but the Rays can't.

Lobbyists, defense contractors and the like all have big expense accounts that they can use to buy tickets and hand them out. There is a particularly large effect from any season tickets. Remember, attendance equals tickets sold, not in the seats, so it doesn't even matter if the tickets are used.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5849016)
Lobbyists, defense contractors and the like all have big expense accounts that they can use to buy tickets and hand them out. There is a particularly large effect from any season tickets. Remember, attendance equals tickets sold, not in the seats, so it doesn't even matter if the tickets are used.


It's also a much larger and wealthier metropolitan area. That helps too.
   26. Buck Coats Posted: June 06, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5849133)
Tampa also has a much lower payroll - unfortunately Bud Selig's decades of "Small market" rhetoric succeeded in convincing fans of those teams that low payroll teams aren't worth seeing. Tampa has the lowest payroll in baseball ($56m according to BB-Ref), the Nats payroll is $207m.

The bigger question is why can't Cleveland draw anymore - payroll is $151m, coming off 3 straight 90-win division-winning seasons, with a WS appearance in that stretch. And they're drawing just under 17k per game.
   27. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 06, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5849139)
Tampa is the worst market* in MLB (for all sorts of reasons) and has the worst stadium in MLB that is located in the wrong place. You don't have to go any further than that to explain their attendance issues.

* "Naturally" worst market. Miami might be worse, but that's because the Marlins poisoned the well.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5849145)
Lobbyists, defense contractors and the like all have big expense accounts that they can use to buy tickets and hand them out.

Isn't "retirement" a major industry in Tampa? It's not like the Social Security Administration and Fox News are going to be buying a lot of skyboxes.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 06, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5849148)
It's not like the Social Security Administration and Fox News are going to be buying a lot of skyboxes.

Hospitals, pharma and medical device companies, on the other hand...
   30. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 06, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5849167)
The bigger question is why can't Cleveland draw anymore - payroll is $151m, coming off 3 straight 90-win division-winning seasons, with a WS appearance in that stretch. And they're drawing just under 17k per game.


Maybe because it is just so much easier to watch them on TV?

From a May 19 blog post on Crain's Cleveland Business:

Prior to Thursday night's 14-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles (was it Jason Kipnis or Francisco Lindor who kicked the extra points?), the Tribe's 5.93 ratings average on SportsTime Ohio ranked third in MLB.


the Indians local broadcasts have been in the top 5 in MLB four of the last five years

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