On Monday, being in a position to clinch a playoff berth at Tropicana Field against the Orioles, more David Price and Evan Longoria looked at the stands and found them mostly empty. Price posted on Twitter, “Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing.”
Actually, it was 12,446, but as I noted… bad.
The Rays wound up clinching a playoff spot tonight, guaranteed to either win the AL East or the AL Wild Card, and at least a few more showed up for the event: 17,891, the second lowest attended game of the night behind only the 16,982 that showed for the Red Sox-White Sox game in Chicago.
But, on Weds., the house is expected to be packed. Not because of some newfound energy from the fan base, but rather because 20,000 will be made available by the Rays for the regular season finale at the Trop against the Baltimore Orioles for… free. That’s right nada.
According to the Rays, tickets will be distributed one per person on a first-come, first-served basis and will be given away upon entry to the ballpark. Tickets may not be picked up in advance. The complimentary tickets will be available in the Press Level, Baseline Box, Loge Box, Outfield, Upper Box and Upper Reserved sections.
Fans who have purchased tickets to Weds. night's game in the aforementioned seating areas may exchange them at Guest Services for a Lower Box seat upon their arrival, based on availability.
So, please… We know there are some of the best fans in all of baseball supporting the Rays, but let’s hope they can bring their friends… and their friend’s friends… and they learn that it’s worth getting out from in front of the television to watch the Rays live. Let’s hope the Rays don’t have to give away tickets to the playoffs.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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