The Tampa Bay Rays released their ticket pricing for the 2012 season today, and there are no huge surprises. After drawing their worst attendance since 2007, the Rays decided to make 90% of their tickets either the same price or lower, and they have taken some steps to hopefully make things easier for fans in 2012.
Here are the main things to know:
- The Rays are scraping the 6:40pm start times, as they all drew horribly and made it difficult for families to come to games. They were a failed experiment, so the Rays are returning to 7:10pm starts for all week night games.
- Carpool with four or more people will still be allowed to park for free, and fans will still be allowed to bring food and drinks into the stadium.
- The four-tier system of game pricing will continue (much to my chagrin), but the Rays will be lowering some of their prices for weekday games. Upper Deck tickets for Silver games (weekday games, non-Yanks or Red Sox) will now only cost $9/each.
- Sundays will be "Family Fun Day" with the St. Petersburg Times, so there will be discount ticket options for families for those games.
Full release below the jump.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL- Following their third postseason appearance in the last four years, the Tampa Bay Rays announced today that prices for 90 percent of their tickets will remain the same or decrease for the 2012 season.
"Our on-field accomplishments over the past four seasons have provided some memorable moments for our fans. Just as important to us is that our ticket prices have remained among the most affordable in all of professional sports," said Rays President Matt Silverman. "Our ticket options for 2012 will again be aimed at making the ballpark experience affordable for families."
In 2011, ESPN the Magazine ranked the Rays second in affordability among the 122 teams in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association. The Rays received similar rankings in 2009 and 2010.
Upper Deck seats will cost as little as $9 for 28 of the Rays home games in 2012. Overall, more than one million tickets will be priced at $25 or less. Lower Box and Outfield seats will increase $1 and $2 for a minimal number of games.
In addition, the Rays will make an adjustment to weekday game times at Tropicana Field next season. All Monday through Friday games will start at 7:10 p.m., with the exception of 12 weekday day games including three dates against the New York Yankees: Opening Day, April 6 at 3:10 p.m.; Independence Day, July 4 at 3:10 p.m.; and Labor Day, September 3 at 1:10 p.m. Saturday game times will be announced at a later date and Sundays will remain at 1:40 p.m.
For the seventh consecutive year, the Rays will continue to provide carpoolers access to free parking in team-controlled lots. As in 2011, vehicles with four or more passengers will continue to park free in team-controlled lots for all Sunday games, subject to availability. For all other games, the first 100 cars with four or more will park for free up to an hour before game time, with other main lot Tropicana Field parking rates ranging from $15 to $20 per vehicle.
The Rays will also continue to be one of the few teams with the family-friendly policy of allowing fans to bring food and select beverages into the ballpark.
For 2012, there will again be four categories of single-game ticket pricing: Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver. All ticket prices for each game are subject to change at the Rays discretion. Diamond games are all Friday, Saturday and Sunday games versus the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Yankees (including Opening Day). Platinum games include Monday through Thursday games versus the Yankees and Red Sox.
Gold games include the remaining Friday, Saturday and Sunday games, as well as a featured series versus the New York Mets (Tuesday, June 12 - Thursday, June 14). Silver games include the remaining weekday games in which both Upper Box and Upper Reserved seats will be $9.
As in past seasons, Sunday games will continue to be "Family Fun Days" presented by the St. Petersburg Times. Family Fun Days feature discounted ticket options for families, special promotional giveaways for kids and the opportunity for youngsters to run the bases after the game. The Rays will also continue to offer postgame concerts on some Saturdays. Details will be available in the coming months.