Rays are Truly Affordable!

 

The more I looked underneath the Jumbotron, the more I wanted to go up there with my camera and save this moment forever. Shining under that jumbo picture of Ben Zobrist was a mountain of aluminum casting light prisms all over the rightfield outfield. Tonight was a special night of celebration for the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the night for the fans to feast on the accolades thrust upon the team by ESPN,The Magazine , which made the Tampa Bay Rays franchise the “Most Affordable” sports option in sports.  So the Rays decided to have a festival with their fans and made last night the “Even More Affordable Night” to celebrate with the fans, and we got the treasures.

That is right, the most affordable team in sports in the United States, which included data obtained from every NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB teams.  From sea to shining sea it would be the Rays all day and all night for that honor. This was given to the Rays in combination with all their great ticket options and special pricing to induce fans to come on out to the ball park this season. Yes, it was .50 cent hot dog night, which was also expanded to include $1 Cracker Jack and $1 8 oz. Peanuts. And this was not a scaled down “kid-size” hot dog or Cracker Jack, but the regular size that would set you back at least $4  for each item any other night of the season.

Have to admit I did take in $4 of the fun last night, which included a bag each of Cracker Jacks and Peanuts, and 4 steaming hot dogs. But there were other fans who went by me with a mountain of dogs and headed for the condiment trays to even add further weight to their trays. The success of the event might have been induced a bit by hunger, but the numbers last night are a bit mind boggling. The concession booths at Tropicana Field on a normal day sells 3,000 of those ballpark classics during every game. 

But last night that number topped over 24,000 hot dogs with the stadium still selling and counting them after they did an initial count after the seventh inning. With that total rising even higher before the end of the game, I think we can say that the crowd of 18,474 took full advantage of the event and chowed down to their hearts content. I am so glad I was not a part of that cleaning crew last night picking up that sea of discarded aluminum foil scattered into all regions of the stadium.

In July, ESPN the Magazine’s seventh annual “Ultimate Standings” ranked the Tampa Bay Rays as the No. 1 professional sports team in Affordability, out of 122 Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises.

Affordability was one of eight categories analyzed in the Ultimate Standings, which were compiled based on fan feedback. Other categories included Bang for the Buck, Fan Relations, Ownership, Stadium Experience, Players, Coaching and Title Track (championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans).

Overall, the Rays finished No. 3 among the 30 MLB teams and No. 16 in all of professional sports. Teams were measured on how much they “give back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them.” Among MLB teams, the Rays ranked No. 3 in Bang for the Buck and No. 4 in Fan Relations. This is not a huge move up in the poll for the Rays, who in 2008 ranked third among all franchises in Affordability in ESPN the Magazine’s 2008 rankings and 75th overall.

But the Rays are not the only team to have some great option available for fans this season. The Milwaukee Brewers have a special value way up in the cheap seats(Upper Deck) where they sell 200 “Uecker Seats” that sell for only $1 seats only on game day.  The event is to honor the old 1980’s Miller Lite commercials featuring Bob Uecker with binoculars sitting up there enjoying the game and a Miller Lite. And considering the park is named Miller Park, it seems only natural to honor Uecker and the bubbly adult beverage.

If you head to Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres play, you can get a “5 for $5″ deal that includes a hot dog, 22-ounce soda, medium popcorn, small bag of peanuts and a large cookie (hopefully chocolate chip) for only $ 5 on game days.  And if for some reason might like a bigger boost than soda, you can add a frothy beverage for an additional $5.

The Minnesota Twins even took advantage of one of are darkest days in the stock market to come up with a “Black Monday” promo where the cost of a Home Run Porch ticket would be based on how the Stock Market closed the previous day. For example, if the Dow closed at 8,000, then tickets to this section would sell for $8 the next day.

On special date throughout the season the Toronto Blue Jays hold a special section in the stadium for stroller parking, a private changing area, diapers, wipes, and juice and snacks for all the kids–all at no additional cost to the parents. Only thing needed now would be a babysitter to watch the kids as you take in the game from your seats.

And if your group needs to be a bit older and you have a huge list of friends in your cellphone program, you should head down to a Florida Marlins game where on Mondays the team gives out $ 25 vouchers for every carpool of at least 4 people. And every Monday through the end of August, if you are unemployed, you can get up to 4 complimentary tickets. So if you have four unemployed friends, and one with a car, you can make a night of it out in the sweat-inducing heat of South Florida on Monday nights.

Oh, and onto that special section I spoke about before at the beginning of the blog. It seems that the Cowbell Posse last night decided to dig into their collective piggy banks and bought a steaming mountain of meaty goodness (120 hot dogs) and even tossing one to Baltimore Orioles starter Jamie Guthrie during Batting Practice. Well the legend of cowbell followers during the game handed out hot dogs to anyone who wanted them, taking down the wall of aluminum sitting on the back wall of the Trop.

Leaving the stadium I saw a huge amount of people looking for antacids and even Pepto to calm down their inner food binge actions last night. I have to admit I did feel a bit fuller than usual, but I am chalking that up to the 4-game win streak and not the hot dogs. Check with your local team for their exclusive savings days or special pricing plans throughout the season.

Every team in the MLB knows that times are tough for a lot of their faithful fans, and each team has exclusive events and pricing that could fir your budget for an enjoyable night out at the ballpark before the end of the 2009 season. So with only about 4 1/2 weeks left in the regular season it is time for you to again make a pilgrimage to your local ballpark and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that make baseball the best sport on earth.

8 Comments

Peter,
Thanks for the comment.
Last season the Rays did the $1 Hot Dogs on Friday night and it was a total nightmare some nights.
But just the thought that the guys on the 3rd floor were looking out for my thin wallet meant a bunch to me.
Thank goodness we never have a $3 beer night or there would be some problems.
Any time a team throws a bone to the fans is a great thing to do. It shows they are listening, and it shows they try to keep in touch with them.
Both great things in my opinion.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Great post, I love those nights where the dogs are really cheap, 50cents though..wow..they do Dollar Dog Night at CBP in Philadelphia, and I thought that was good…I’d hate to clean up after those nights too….recycle madness…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Well, that’s one thing the Yankees are NOT: affordable. So I commend the Rays for keeping their fans happy and in the loop. I know Matt and company are always thinking of ways to bring people into the game, and they’re succeeding.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Dollar dog nights are always great. And the Yanks are not affordable at all. But the Indians are! haha, so the Indians and Rays aren’t so different after all? Huh? Beats me… Well numbers are a great thing to look at and Marte has been given enough chances to succeed, so the less fortunate will get their chance, (Matt Laporta.) I wanna see if he succeeds or not. Look for a future post from me on him dealing with numbers… :)
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Well Jane,
That is somehting that the Rays pride themselves on, the baseball for the fans at a good price. The St Pete Times Sunday special of $18 will get you an outfield seat, a hot dog, soda and a Cracker Jack snack.
And by and large that is the ultimate value for a family wanting to come on a day where the kids can run the bases after the game.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Ted,
But we do not have that Great Lakes Brewing Company down here in Florida.
Love the fact you can get draft beer from that brewery at Progressive Field.
Matt LaPorta, the ex-Florida Gator will probably show more consistent at bats in 2010.
He got his feet wet in 2009, and should have a better hint of what is needed to stay up here next season.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cliff – what a great thing the Rays Organization does for the fans! I hope your stomach is feeling better!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Julia,
My stomach is fine.
I only had 4 dogs and bought about 5 peanuts and 5 Cracker Jacks for future games.
They do take care of us, and I like it.
I have no complaints on our front office…….yet ( lol).

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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