If you watched any of the Tampa Bay Rays home games this season, you routinely saw thousands of empty seats. But now that the Rays have won the American League East crown and are one game away from a trip to the World Series, the team is having trouble keeping up with the demand for tickets to their playoff run.
To accommodate the huge response from fans, the Rays will be removing the tarps that cover seats in the upper level of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. By removing the tarp, the team will open up 5,762 seats for ticket buyers.
“Even before we put our first Division Series games on-sale, interest in Rays postseason tickets was extraordinary,” Rays President Matt Silverman said in a statement. “Although the seating capacity we established provides an optimal fan experience, Rays fans have made it very clear that they want us to make every possible seating opportunity available. We are pleased to meet that demand.”
The additional seats will be first opened up for the possible ALCS Game 6 against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, October 18. If the Rays win tonight in Boston, the seats will make their premiere for Game 1 of the World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies. According to the team’s official site, upper deck seats will carry a face value of $25 per ticket in the ALCS, and $100 per ticket in the World Series.
Silverman also told the Tampa Tribune that some of the newly opened seats will be obstructed by the catwalks that line the roof of the “Trop”.
The secondary ticket market reflected the high demand for Rays playoff tickets this past week, as the team finished fourth in TicketNews’s Top Events Rankings. The demand also helped Tropicana Field jump to number two in the Top Venue Rankings this week, trailing only Madison Square Garden for the top spot.
During the regular season, the Rays were able to compile the best home record in baseball at 57-24 and have only lost once there this postseason, in Game 1 of the ALCS.
“The Rays are so young and energetic, it gives you energy and makes you want to come on board,” a fan told MLB.com. “That’s how I see it at least.”
(Image accompanying this story is from ESPN.com)