Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Some Rays tickets could increase in price as season goes on

ST. PETERSBURG — Sports fans may need to take a tip from airline travelers: Buy your tickets early, before prices go up.

The Tampa Bay Rays have made what they consider a minor adjustment to ticket prices, but one effect is that the cost of some tickets could go up during the year.

And the Rays aren't alone. The Tampa Bay Lightning began a similar practice earlier this year, and its ticket prices now fluctuate slightly according to demand.

Under the old Rays system, a fan would pay more to watch a game against the popular New York Yankees than to see a struggling club such as the Houston Astros. The most desirable games were called "diamond" games, which cost more than "platinum" games, and those cost more than ones rated as "gold" and "silver."

The team has stopped using the labels, and now says it could change prices during the season based on team popularity or a special event at the stadium.

"It's really very similar to the system before," Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn said. "We just added some flexibility, and we're moving away from using those names.

"We've always encouraged our fans to buy in advance," and this system reinforces that, he said.

Vaughn used an example: Say you buy a ticket today for a Friday night game in June. But then later, a band is scheduled to play a concert after that game. Vaughn said the Rays might increase the ticket price, because fans will be getting something extra.

If you bought your ticket early, you paid less. If you wait until later, you could pay more.

Now, imagine the Rays in a pennant race, playing one of their rivals in a crucial end-of-season game. Will the price of that ticket go up, too?

"It's possible," Vaughn said.

At Tampa Bay Lightning games, the price can go up or down a few percentage points — possibly as much as 10 percent — as the game approaches, said team spokesman Bill Wickett.

It's a system known as dynamic pricing, he said, and has become increasingly common at sports venues across the country.

Of a half-dozen Rays fans the Times interviewed outside Tropicana Field Thursday, most weren't thrilled with the idea.

"I think they should set the price at the beginning of the year, and it's what the price should be for the whole year," said Ed Hunter, 79, of St. Petersburg, a retired postal employee.

"I don't think it's fair," said Karen Moyer, 50, of St. Petersburg.

But Beth Cadwell, 29, of St. Petersburg could see some benefits of the system, because now fans know that buying early might lock in a better price.

Although some don't like the change, everyone interviewed Thursday said that overall, Rays ticket prices are reasonable. Cadwell said she can often get into Tropicana Field for $10 to $15 on a weeknight, and "that's a great price to see a Major League team that I love."

Although Vaughn said some Rays tickets could go up during the year, he didn't expect any to go down. He pointed out that ESPN in 2012 ranked the Rays as the No. 1 team for "affordability," out of 122 Major League, NBA, NFL and NHL teams. The Lightning was No. 14 on the same list.

"We feel our tickets are priced well to begin with," Vaughn said.

'13 single-game base prices

Home Plate Club$190
Hancock Bank Club$120
Whitney Bank Club$105
Fieldside Box$80
Lower Infield Box$60
Lower Box$40
Lower Reserved$30
Press Level Box$27
Press Level Reserved$22
Baseline Box$20
Outfield$13
Upper Box$10
Upper Reserved/tbt* Party Deck$10

Some Rays tickets could increase in price as season goes on 03/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.