Sunday Rewind: ” Rays trying to Boost Season Ticket Sales”
It is still kind of wild how this same subject seems to coast to the surface right before the Tampa Bay Rays have their annual Fan Fest, but the Rays are again seeking to increase their Season Ticket fanbase for the 2010 season. So I decided that I might wander back to February 2,2009 and pull up an old blog entry that seems just as current today.
On February 2,2009, the St. Petersburg Times ran a story telling what local population segment the Tampa Bay Rays were going to be very aggressive in their push to increase their Season Tickets throughout Spring Training. The Rays currently still hold onto the bottom slot of the list among teams in the American League when it comes to active full Season Tickets, and the plan is to make the benefits of a Rays package or plan more attractive and further showcase what over 8,000 Rays fans already know, that Season Ticket packages give you some interesting options during the season. Television ads will begin their airtime barrage showcasing key Rays players’ getting ready for the season and each will be narrated by Rays Manager Joe Maddon.
Most people in this region look at Rays Full Season Tickets as an expensive investment (81 games), but they are also not targeting most of the fanbase to purchase two seats in the Home Plate Club for around $ 12,400. for each padded seat. There are as many great season ticket packages and options as there are Rays selections in jerseys right now. And just because you select a seat in the Upper Deck, or even the T B T Party Deck, you are still considered a prime member of the exclusive Season Ticket membership.
Now I have sat in my section (138) of the Trop in the plastic seat for the last 11 years, and I can not even imagine sitting anywhere else within the confines of Tropicana Field. but some people might not have the luxury of time away from other life requirements or the money to invest in the team to this level. But for me, it is an investment in my sanity. Baseball is my form of relaxation and watching the game brings me down after the highs and lows of the day to a sense of neutrality again.
A Full (81 games ) Season Ticket in the Upper Deck area of the Trop. went for about $ 754. during the 2009 season, which will come in at a discounted savings of $ 215. over the entire baseball season if you bought your seat at one time instead of fighting with Stubhub or Ticketmaster over the seats. But the Rays have also thought long and hard about the fan who can not make 81 games, or have families or kids who play sports in the early Spring or Summer, which limits their chances to attend Rays games.
They have thought about this group of fans by including a huge list of packages and seat options that could fit into anyone’s budget. And the team even offers a 20-game voucher system to induce fans to include friends, family or co-workers to come out to a Rays game on short notice. There are also half season Season Tickets that will let you pick from two great options that include weekdays or weekend games.
An example of the weekday plan cost yaround $ 727.50 for a seat out in the Rays outfield seat, and included the Pomp and Circumstance of the 2009 Opening Day game and every game played from Monday to Thursday during the season, including games against the Boston Red Sox, Philladelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.
Also offered again in 2009 was the popular 20-game package, which cost about $ 550. for a Baseline Box seat, such as Section 138. The package will be fine tuned and configured around the weekend games at the Trop. There were three viable options here, either you picked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games, then the package was tailored to your needs.
The most popular option in the 20-game package was the Saturday night game option which gave you a seat for each of the Rays Concert Series performances in 2009. But this package also is limited in its effect to get you multiple games/seats against the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies in the same seat as your 20-game option.
Then there is the entire Weekend Rays games plan which for an Outfield seat cost you $678.50 and would include every Rays home game played from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, and wiould include the popular Concert Series nights in the package. This package also gave you an additional ticket to attend the Opening Day game and subsequent games against the Chicago White Sox, Red Sox, and Yankees.
All of the half season and limited game packages have a reduced level of Season Ticket benefits, but include such great items as priority numbers for Rays Postseason ticket purchases before the general publicsale ,10 percent discount for merchandise at the Tropicana Field Rays Team Store, and your own personal Season Ticket representative.
But there are other goodies that Season Ticket can get you that most fans never get to enjoy like using the Rays Season Ticket gate entrances at Gate 1 or Gate 3 for quick entry into games, and the option to purchase discounted parking passes to include Lots 2 and 6 for each Rays home game. I used this option a few years ago, and I could actually park within 50 feet of the back door of the Trop. and get to my car in less than 1 minute after leaving the confines of the stadium.
This comes in handy during those wild rain showers we tend to have in the summertime here in Florida. You also have a priority advantage to either upgrade your seat, or even decide in the off season you want to move closer to the rail or aisle end, you can contact your Season Ticket Representative and he will work with you to get that desired location or seat for you.
If the level of secured Season Tickets for the Rays game could increase from the level they are today, to about 15,000, the team would have a guaranteed attendance of 1.8 million fans each season. One of the big reasons for the push to increase the Season Ticket fanbase is to try and sit about the MLB average every season in total attendance. Another is that the team increased their budgeted payroll for 2009 to a level that is 2 1/2 times the 2007 payroll for the team. With the estimated payroll exceeding $ 60 million in 2009, it will be the most talented and expensive team assembled in Rays history.
Full Season Tickets gets you a lot of great benefits besides the ones listed above. Full season patrons also get a guarantee of your same seat for every Rays game, a personalized nameplate on your seat, and an opportunity to purchase extra tickets to games during the Spring Training and Regular season before they go on sale to the public. Another great benefits is the exclusive events and parties that the Rays provide every year for the Full season crowd.
Along with the game tickets, you can develop a sense of trust and personal face time with players and staff that is beneficial to having the true Rays baseball experience. And with this, it gives you a deeper understanding and knowledge of what Rays baseball is really all about.
Not only that, but throughout the season you get Rays personalized birthday and holiday cards from the Rays staff, and also develop friendships and a common bond with your fellow Season Ticket buddies through the many events planned by the Rays staff throughout each Rays season.