Autograph Wristbands to Cost $40 at Rays Fan Fest

 

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RayRenegade

During the Tampa Bay Rays 2011 Fan Fest, there will again ask for a donation fee for those over 14 years of age or who are not Rays Season Ticket holders who want to seek an autograph of their favorite Rays player. This year that honor will cost you $ 40. Immediately I am expecting to hear those adult voices rise up into a higher octave and even denounce or boycott the autograph lines.

I, for one will pay the $ 40 with a smile on my face for the entire amount will go the Rays Baseball Foundation and also the foundation for two St. Petersburg Police officer’s families. It is also a chance for those “collectors” to make their own charitable donation to help support the many Rays Baseball Foundation charities that need yearly support.

Still there will be those who want their voices heard loud and clear. For them I want to remind them that the Rays Fan fest is a mostly FREE event. That it is not held in a convention center like the 2011 SoxFest or 2011 PiratesFest,. It will be featured upon the NEW Astroturf surface of Tropicana Field. But still there will be those distracters that want to showcase the bad president instead of the good this small amount of $ 40 will do for those in need within our Tampa Bay community.

That is how spoiled we have become as Rays fans. No tickets are needed for entry like at the Milwaukee Brewers 3rd annual On-Deck experience ($15) or the recent Orioles Fest which cost $ 12 for adults and $ 4 for kids under 14 or adults over 55. Somehow we as member of the Rays Republic have forgotten what this event is really all about.

It is  a time to rejoice about the beginning of a new Rays season. It is the time for utter excitement, plus the first day to purchase single game Rays tickets. It is about celebrating Spring with both the old and the new Rays players, and welcome them to our team with huge smiles. And all without a single dollar spent for admission fees.

$ 40 is not much considering it covers every autograph session of the event, including all of the designated players in your line in your autograph line during that time period. Did you know at SoxFest, which is also a 3-day event, there are daily limits for individual autographs and photos with players?  Would you want the Rays to institute a possible $ 15 voucher offer in 2012 for each selected player or alumni group during a time period with it possibly of it selling out even before you get on your computer, or arrive that day to Fan Fest?

Would you be happier if the Rays decided o go the route of the Atlanta Braves and just have a yearly scheduled Rays caravan each Spring instead of a day celebrating Rays baseball with the whole community invited?  The Braves 2011 caravan actually began on January 24,2011 in Macon, Georgia and will make several other stops before finally concluding on February 5,2011 in Madison/Nashville, Tennessee. During their caravan, the Braves will only have one chance for Braves fans to get the autograph of new member Dan Uggla, who ill only be appearing at the last event in Tennessee.
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At the Rays Fan Fest, all signed Rays players plus most of their minor league players will be at a Rays signing table at some point in the day. You cannot be guaranteed that at other team  Fan Fest. Think about it, $ 40 could get you Evan Longoria, David Price, Rays Manager Joe Maddon, plus possibly get autographs from newly signed Rays players Manny Ramirez, Dirk Hayhurst and Johnny Damon. More than worth the one time expenditure.
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In recent years, the Rays have also heard you loud and clear on the congestion and turmoil that multiple players signing can provide with duo lines sometimes forming at the first table, or snaking lines going all the way out of the Rightfield tunnel into the concourse. A staff member of the Rays wrote to me that the Rays are trying to eliminate those kinds of autograph headaches during Fan Fest, but a popular player will still garner a huge line and a possible result of no signature before the next group arrives for their singing times.

That might mean moving a popular player towards the middle two sections of the autograph area, but that is still better than not getting a chance at all to get a autograph after the singing sessions are sold out in advance of Fan Fest or cost $15 for each scheduled autograph session like OriolesFest.
Do not forget again that the $ 40 fee for the Rays autograph sessions wristband (for those over 14) will benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation in their ongoing endeavors to help baseball flourish in this community. If you wanted to attend all 5 signature groupings during OriolesFest, it would cost you upwards to $ 75 dollars for the same amount of signatures.

Plus if your Rays player signings at Table 2 get completed in time for you to possibly stand in Table 3’s autograph line during the designated time span, it will not cost you anything additional unlike the OriolesFest. At SoxFest, your voucher was only for that player during that time period, not for unlimited usage or wandering into additional lines for signatures.
 
Or maybe you might want to force the Rays to reconsider their FREE admittance and possible charge $ 15 dollars like they did at the Brewers event at the Frontier Airlines Center.

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A $ 40 one day autograph wristband charge for signatures to me is a bargain any day. Considering the additional fees and signature admittance charges of other Major League Baseball fan events, it is a down right steal. Still, you child under 14 can still stroll up to their favorite player and get a signed autograph or smile at no charge…and how can you even put a price on something like that. 

 
 

 

33 Comments

I agree totally. Just as player salaries are ballooning, so are ticket prices. The Cubs Convention this year was 60 dollars per person, or 400 dollars per person with a hotel included.

There’s Always Next Year

Cubbies,
Someone within the Rays front office reminded me that the Cardinals charged $ 175 just for Albert Pujols signature. All of the autographs are still FREE for Season Ticketholders, and kids under 14.
I am sure there will be more than a few cries out of the assembled guys with duffel bags full of bats, balls orhelmets to the increase, but somewhere the line between fans and financials has to be drawn.
I get a single signature from a guy when he first signs or comes up with the Rays. After that it is either a special occasion like Garza’s No-Hitter, or a celebration champagne bottle when I ask for a signature.

Rays Renegade

If they are truly going to streamline the autograph line like they said they were going to when they announced FanFest, then it may very well be worth it. I spend the $20 on the wristband last year, but I only had the patience to wait in line for one autograph. It was a madhouse. I got in line right when James Shields sat down to start signing, and by the time I was about 3/4ths of the way through the line he was done.

40 bucks? That seems like a steal to me! But yeah I wish Yankees tickets were a little more affordable (i doubt that’s going to happen).
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

Mike,
I have talked with someone in the Rays promotions team who has said they will try a few things different this year, but the lines tend to have their own flows. The reasoning for some of the favorites in line 1 and 2 was to use the RF overflow area. It did not work out totally as planned in 2010.
The open autograph sessions are better than only a set number of tickets for a player or a table. We sometimes forget fans in other MLB cities do not get this luxury or even such an event like Fan Fest at an affordable price..
All we hear are the whines and gripes when a player stands up after singing for an hour to let another take his place. I still remember the cheers during Maddon’s first season when he decided to stay until everyone who wanted his autograph got it.

Rays Renegade

Cliff! My Man! – The first ever to welcome me to the Blogosphere. I’m ready for another season. I haven’t been able to get that seed you planted in my mind, out, about Cuban and Sterberg. As you can see I’m horrible at juggling two sites at once. But I wouldn’t enjoy a Baseball season without you all.
Mike

I’m not one to undervalue the generosity of the players who sit up there for an hour or more signing baseballs, as well as the opportunity we get to interact with them. I’ll be buying a wristband either way.

Virginia,
You know I do not have any pull with the Yankees, but I will forward your email to their office.
Expect Hal to call sometimes this Spring ( I wish) with a great offer
Sports pricing will always be dictated a bit by the salalries and theexpenses of the Spring and season. Hopefully in the next year or two the economy will settle and thing will stay even for a year or two so we can all get our wallets to catch up to our baseball passion.

Rays Renegade

Trolleyman,
Knew that teaser about Mark Cuban and Stuart Sternberg would get your ears up to attention.
So much time untilsomething is officically announced, but Sternberg also did a similar move with Vince Namoli gining him the President Emeritus title which still gives him some team duties plus a role with the team…..Anything is possibly in this odd, but fiscally draining situation.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Mike,
It is refreshing to hear that. Not that you are buying the wristband either way, but that you understand the position of the players/coaches too.
I will be sitting in my ususal seat watching from afar, but within sight of it all after 1 pm.
I will also be throwing out some interesting tidbits probably about Weds that people will want to know about the Rays Fan Fest…Until then…
Rays Renegade

$40 bucks? I might take it. It’s great to read about another team’s fan fest. Padres held theirs not too long ago and I have everything about it.
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

What the heck is wrong with people?

$40 is a flippin’ steal to meet some Major Leaguers! If you don’t want to pay for the autographs then use your brain and bring the neighbors kid and pay him to get the autographs for you. Cripes use your brains! Besides it’s for charity!

Jeez-

Michael

http://phanaticaddict.mlblogs.com/

Hyun,
I agree. Every team has their own way of doing a fan/player interaction or Fan Fest. Some do basic caravan to sponsor locations ans have a set list of players sign, other have something like Rays Fan Fest where the masses converge to get their favorites autograph.
There will also be 20 MLB Alumni signing at the Rays Fan Fest, which are absolutely FREE.
Von Hayes, Mick Whiten and Roberto Hernandez are three names that were communicated to me tonight…more to come as they confirm.

Rays Renegade

Really, $40 at an otherwise mostly free event is a steal, especially when it sounds like the Rays organization is trying to make the whole process more enjoyable for the fans. And the fact that it goes to charity makes the $40 even more palatable. This sounds like a lot of fun. I can’t wait to read your post about it afterward!
Kristen
http://blithescribe.mlblogs.com/

I think this is excellent perspective on the “cost” of the 2011 Rays Fan Fest. I may not be a Rays fan, but I admire the organization for the way they are trying to reach out to its fans. As a baseball fan, I’d like nothing better than to see the Trop filled to capacity every game. It is events like the Fan Fest that will not only create fans for tomorrow but will lay the foundation for future generations.

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

And the fleecing of US America and its rabid baseball fans continues… I hate paying for autographs, so I don’t. I’m not making any money off the autographs so I don’t expect the players, franchises to either. But that’s just me.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Michael,
That is it exactly. Your $ 40 is not going into the coffers of the team or to some unknown avenue, it is going to the Rays Baseball Foundation which funds all the Rays charity events throughout Tampa Bay.
Plus, a percentage of those funds collected this year will also go to the families of the two slain St. Peterburg Police Department officers.
That in itself is a reason I am playing $ 40 for a wristband even though I get one for FREE (Season Ticketholder). Great event, great causes, hopefully a great time for all.

Rays Renegade

Michael,
That is it exactly. Your $ 40 is not going into the coffers of the team or to some unknown avenue, it is going to the Rays Baseball Foundation which funds all the Rays charity events throughout Tampa Bay.
Plus, a percentage of those funds collected this year will also go to the families of the two slain St. Peterburg Police Department officers.
That in itself is a reason I am playing $ 40 for a wristband even though I get one for FREE (Season Ticketholder). Great event, great causes, hopefully a great time for all.

Rays Renegade

Kristen,
I will have the usual two posts about it.
One will be the little things I saw, experienced or even found out during the event, and the other will be a plethora of photos taken on that day.
Do miss the old 2-day event, but jamming it all into one day has made it more of a challenge and adventure to see it all, and do it all within the time frame.
Got to start planning my day…now!

Rays Renegade

Scott,
The one thing people forget is that the Rays only started out in 1998.
Because of that, they have a young staff that has grown with the team and is always coming up with more and more inventive ideas and ways to treat the fan to the ultimate experience. Can’t wait to actually see some of the new additions at work and see just how much smiling and laughter I hear this year.
This is one of the events I cherish during the Spring.

Rays Renegade

Jeff,
Then you are going to hate my post for Valentine’s Day.
I looked at the recent Winter Warm-Up event by the Cardinals and put it up against the Rays $ 40 charge for fans over 14.
But I do get where you are coming from. I do not pay for autographs, but I consider the $ 40 to be more towards the charity than for the idea of letting someone sign my baseball.
The Rays do not charge an admission fee, do not have you pre-purchase autograph tickets and last but not least…..they players will sign pretty much anything you bring.
Too bad Carlos Pena is gone….someone else will have to sign that Taco in 2011.

Rays Renegade

I swore off autographs years ago when, as a stupid college student, I managed to lose my Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Buddy Bell, Roger Staubach, and Bob Lilly autographs. Plus, I’m just not gonna PAY for em because back in MY day we walked ten miles in the snow to get FREE autographs, gursh durn it!!!
:^)
–Jonestein
http://jonestein.mlblogs.com

Jonestein,
One of my cherished collectible possessions is a photo taken in 1061 of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle out at old Waterfront Park by the home team entrance up against the palm trees. My dad got the photo printed then signed by both men….
Autograph can be a defining moment between people. Some see the plausibility while others see the insanity. Guess it is like asking two people what they saw at the same time in a game. Each sees a different aspect or part of it all.

Rays Renegade

Kids are free but you have people who spend the money for the Donation, get the Autograph, then sell it. I know you can’t control that but every year kids leave unhappy because they can’t get their favorite player because he left after one hour. You wait one hour for Longoria, don’t make it with him, then you have to rush to another line if you don’t want the autograph from the replacement on Longoria’s line. If you REALLY wanted to try your best you would ask the players to stay at least 2 hours to satisfy more fans. You beg fans to come out to games but you don’t do anything to make it up to fans. The Fan Fest is your best chance to.

Saying during the season that autographs are sometimes free, it is rarely the star players and you never know who is going to be free on any particular game. The Fan Fest is the only way to ensure who will be signing.

I know it’s not all about the Autographs, but when you start raising the “donation” cost it becomes an issue. You raised that part but did nothing to ensure that people leave with something they wanted. By keeping players one hour extra you let twice as many people leave happy.

If you don’t want to do something to help the fans don’t go crying when they don’t come out to games and attendance is low. This is your perfect chance to enhance the interaction between fans and players. It’s time you do something about it.

Above you say, “Think about it, $ 40 could get you Evan Longoria, David Price, Rays Manager Joe Maddon, plus possibly get autographs from newly signed Rays players Manny Ramirez, Dirk Hayhurst and Johnny Damon.” There is NO WAY one person can get all of those players you mentioned – let alone 3 of them. If someone waited on Longoria’s line, IF they were fortunate enough to get his autograph, they would have to get off that line and rush to the very end of another star player’s line and, guaranteed, they would not get the next player they wanted. You MIGHT get some minor players but the stars are the main attraction of the autograph sessions.

One other line to comment about: “Still, you child under 14 can still stroll up to their favorite player and get a signed autograph or smile at no charge.” The ONLY way your child can “stroll” up to their favorite player is if they wait hours in a line and are one of the fortunate few to make it to his table.

Asking star players to stay one extra hour to ensure twice as many people leave satisfied is NOT a bad thing. There is no place that important, and their schedules are not THAT hectic, that they can’t stay one extra hour.

And yes, I am a transplanted Yankees’ fan. I have watched the Rays on TV and been to a handful of games now and then as well but with the economy the way it is it’s not as easy to afford games anymore.

I do not agree with this what so ever. I have been apart of many fan fests in Tampa as well as participated in autpgraph sessions for the Bucs, Lightning, Rays, and Bulls. All for personal collection and wanting to meet players I have liked over the years being a born and raised die hard Tampa fan. Outside of the horrible planning done by the Lightning in 2009, the second worse had to be my experience at last years Rays Fest in 2010. I did not mind the $20 fee as much, though I did consider it steep, but the environment as well as the organization of players and short time slots made it almost impossible to meet your favorite player.

My friend and I came to see Longoria, we came about 2 hours early and even by that time the lines were way too long for Longoria. We then decided to go to Pena’s line which we barely reached (thanks only to Pena for staying longer because a reporter pulled him aside DURING HIS AUTOGRAPH SESSION to do about a 5-10min interview). By the time we left Pena’s section, the lines were too long in the remaining ones for the upcoming hour’s session involving Price, Maddon, and several of the other marque players (excluding Crawford, Garza who didnt even come).

I have no problem with charging something, but in the end it hurts fans who are over 14, couldnt afford season ticket holders, but are still solid/dedicated fans who only really get this chance to meet their favorite players. There will always be the problem of guys with duffel bags, and as you raise prices, those guys are the only ones who will still pay because they get money in the end for the items. Actual fans end up getting the raw end of the deal or teenagers who are still aspiring. Now, I do not agree with comparing fan fests to other ball clubs. I agree, from what it sounds, that the Rays have the better business proposition for fans. But is this business or a fan fest? In reality I know is a business, but its not like the stadium still doesnt charge an arm and a leg for concessions. Also, if you are going to compare fan fests, compare to ones in your own town. Compare it to the Bucs who, in my opinion, have consistently been good at providing opportunities to meet your favorite player if you come somewhat early as well as other players (maybe not the top 4 most popular). They have more players and they spread it out more, and not to mention….Its Free.

My opinion for the Rays: double the time for autograph sesssions from one hour to maybe two hours or have them sign at two different times (make it realistic for fans to meet their favorite player…not to mention the longer stars stay, the longer the fans stay and spend), charge at max $20 (are you really trying to handle crowd control by upping the dollar amount?), charge for parking if meeting costs is absolutely necessary (youll make just as much if you charge $5-10 per car), and finally if you are trying to eliminate bagged memorabilia dealers, set a max of items per person coming in to the gate.

I for one this year am just coming in with a bat for hopefully Longoria to sign this year and a hat or ball for one or more of my other favorite players to sign. Again, for my personal collection only.

I know my opinion wont matter and I will still be paying $40 reluctantly (almost as upsetting as Lightning not know what players are signing where or what times they are signing…as well as not even having the top 3 players in town and/or available to regular fans).

I hope this year or next year some of the suggestions could come into play.

Lj82,
I know your comments will be heard. There are a few members of the Rays organization that will possibly read these comments, and see your concerns.
I do not attend the Bucs Fan Fest because I am not a Bucs fan. Never been to a game, will never go. That is my choice. But also comparing an NFL, NHL or MLB Fan Fest is apples and oranges sometimes.
I remember seeing Pena take extra time last season after Rich Herrera talked to him while he was signing in 2010. That is Carlos, he is more fan-oriented than so many of the other players.
I like the 2-hour idea, but that would decrease the amount of player signing unless the event went back to a 2-day format. Considering their first full squad workout is a few days after Fan Fest, there should be a better turnout.
Especially since Manny, Longoria and the pitchers andminor leaguers are basically already in camp.

Rays Renegade

Yankee,
Glad you are supporting the home town team too.
I know this region has a huge transplant population, with only a few of us natives. So thank you for having a psort open mind.
I know the Rays have talked about trying to make some adjustments during this Fan Fest. I hate to see kids get the raw end of the deal.
I know that the marquee players have been spread out a bit more this for this Fan Fest, and hopefully with the people in charge keeping the line moving a bit faster than before…..things will get better.
But there will always be a negative, that is the thing that stinks.
I do not even get autographs at Fan Fest anymore, not because I can’t, but I do other things…like heckle Rosenthal ( just kidding).
I like the 2-hour idea, but then you run the risk of a smaller segment of the players since it is a 1-day event.
I stillthink it is better this way than a 200 ticket limit and then Longo, Price or even Manny woul;d stand upand walk off…. Going to try and count a few lines this year and see if it got quicker….

Rays Renegade

Renegade,

Thank you so much for your response. I know opinions do matter, but sometimes comments can be overlooked by those who make decisions.

Based on that, I just felt like sharing my brief experiences at Rays Fan Fest because I feel it is worth being told and hopefully heard by people who can do something about it next year.

I left early Saturday morning in hopes to meet and get Longoria’s autograph as I was unable to during the prior years fan fest. Knowing this time that Longoria’s line would be unbelievably stacked and people will come very early to wait for it, I arrived at the stadium at 7am (and I live near USF/Tampa). The earliest person probably arrived at 6 or 630am, if not earlier for the season ticket holder line. I was approximately the 25th total person there and about the first five non-season ticket holders to arrive (everyone else had arm bands for season ticket holders), so I was in definately the best positioning I could get. As hours go by the single line separates into two; season ticket holders, who are to enter through the season ticket holder doors and non-season ticket holders who enter the door next to it. At this time I was made aware season ticket holders would be allowed to enter a hour early and as time went by, employees would remind people the season ticket holder line (with armbands) was only the entrance to the season ticket holders at the doors on the right side of Gate 1. Approximately 10-20minutes prior to opening the door, another random employee states that another single line next to season ticket holder line will be for season ticket holders/arm bands too. People who have waited from 7am and early do not budge because all were reminded twice, by two employees prior, that the season ticket holder entrance was the only entrance for arm bands/early admittance. People at the back of the line start lining up at this new line that was created, angering fans who had been there for hours compared to those who had just arrived. As gates opened, the staff not only decides to open the season ticket holder doors, the line next to it as previously mentioned, but now they opened ALL doors to Gate 1, even parts where no one was lined up to. This caused a slight chaos and rush as being flooded in through all entrances. The saddest part, me and another fan, who did not have armbands and were front of the non-season ticket holder line…and anxiously/patiently waiting… mentioned the what seems to be the head gate personnel that why did they do that when the people to the side at the season ticket holder entrance were told just to be there and some of those who came hours prior lost their positioning…most dissappointing his response was: well, they changed their minds at the last second and it doesnt matter about those who waited since 6am.

Seeing how many people had ran in and enetered early (based off my experience last year and autograph sessions only lasting a hour), the crowd was too large for me to see longoria. Though, I understood there is no guarantee I would get to see him anyways, the odds were heavily stacked against it. So, instead, I decided to return home to wake up my girlfriend for her to go to work, which seemed like the more rewarding thing to do at that point. Its sad that me being one of the first non-armband people there, I had no shot to see Longoria, though I do respect the fact season ticket holders should hold more of a right of passage. Yet, shouldnt there at least be the opportunity for even those who get their early enough get at least a fair opportunity?

Either way, I know I forfeited my opportunity, but in the end I was more upset for those who came at 6am or earlier for the organization not to even care about those people who tried harder than the others.

Dissappointing. But, reading your thread about the Fan Fest, seemed like it was a great time.

Got to go play a softball game now!

LJ82,
I wish things had turned out more positive for you. I do not know what to say about the change of policy at the last moment. It is action like “split second decision that sours people towardsm some of the doing of this franchise.
I wish I could emphatically say it would never happen again, but I do not have that faith.
Even the end result of Longoria being a half hour late due to the accident on Northbound I-75 couldn’t change the final outcome.
I am so sorry you had to leave empty-handed that day.
I will definitely forward this up the line to someone within the Rays. I am so sorry this happened to you that day.

Rays Renegade

Renegade,

Thank you again for your response. Thank you also for your comments in regards to the situation. My message was not aimed at complaining or frustration I did not get anything, because it wasn’t. I just was saddened for the season ticket holder fans who dedicated themselves from before 6am and blatantly were disrespected (in my opinion) and snubbed by at least the Gate 1 management. I feel it is the ultimate punch to a fan who has made the sacrifice, but I will agree a well deserved punch to the guys who get there with duffel bags full of stuff they are planning to sell – there was one guy next to me who was telling another guy how much he was planning to sell one or two of his items. Nowhere near as sad as a guy I saw once at a Bucs Fan Fest who brought his 4 daughters (oldest having to be only 8 or 9), his grandma, and his wife…of course along with a military sack sized bag with what seemed like dozen+ of mini helmets, footballs, etc. Unfortunately, it will always be there unless a precedent is made to limit number of bulk items (sports cards/photos excluded).
Anyway, I hope things in future things could be more prepared and errors limited, but as you said I cannot trust it will not happen again. Sadly, it seems like such simple things to prepare. I appreciate you forwarding this, as again my intent for my message was for the benefit of season ticket holders who were there early as well as those I felt got snubbed in the beginning (not to mention what I thought was a slight injustice to those who were non season ticket holders). I just wanted to make sure someone knew what happened so hopefully it could help influence some change in the future.
Thanks again Renegade, I look forward to keeping updated on the forums.

-Justin

Justin,
I did not take your statements and comments as whining, but a concerned fan. I remeber about 3 years ago I got called a “collector” because a few little kids wanted someone autograph and they were too small for the player to see. I kept passing him baseballs and he made the remark before a mother of one of the kid’s let him know I was just helping them out since I was in front.
I hurt for a few until the player realized it, looked at me and I told him it was fine.
There are all types of fans from the real fanatics to the casual fan who get there when the “spirit” moves them.
All are welcome in the Trop as long as they use the common sense and have a hint of manners.
Anything less would just be uncivilized….for those people, I-95 goes North

Rays Renegade

Viewed from the perspective of the market cost of charging autographs it is a steal. Viewed from the perspective of an investor trying to make a profit ir is a steal. But viewed from the perspective of people struggling to make ends $40 can be huge. I have been a huge supporter of the Rays since their inception averaging 18 Rays games per year (travelling from Land O Lakes that’s 75 mile round trip) and have done that since the first year. I have many fond memories of attending the games with my son and can honestly say baseball does bring people together and help form great memories. Sadly my economic situation has deteriated. I’ll attend the Fan Fest but just not able to afford $40. Just would be selfish and irresponsible of me to spend on something I would like and watch my family suffer by not having groceries for a week. I’ll try to get to as many Rays games as possible this year but will just have to be extremely resourceful and creative!

Ed,
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that was the 2011 price. In 2012 it will rise to $50 unless you are a season ticket holder or buy a Fan Fest ticket package that day. It will still cost you a double dose of Alexander Hamilton’s to get autographs.
Some say the move was made to push out some of the collectors, but those guys know it can be written off as a business expense, plus if they are really businessmen, they will find a way to make it profitable. In the end the Rays want this Fan Fest to be more interactive with players doing more events and the kids enjoyment in the spotlight. Ed I totally understand the financial side of being a fan myself. I do not get free passes or waivers for games and have found it extremely difficult in 2008-2011 when I was not working. Family comes first and as long as you listen or watch you are doing the part of being a fan that is feasible for you. In time things will get better and you will again be at the Trop. Hope it is sooner than later, but I understand and hope your future has more than 18 games in it….That will produce even more memories. Thanks for the heartfelt words today.

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