Rays to Hand Out 20,000 Free Tickets (Updated)

In response to Tampa Bay Rays players' recent comments about the lack of fan support at Tropicana Field, the Rays organization is giving out 20,000 free tickets to Wednesday night's finale -- and final regular season home game of 2010 -- against the Baltimore Orioles.

Free tickets to see the Rays. The postseason-bound Tampa Bay Rays. And Evan Longoria, ladies.

My only concern is this: what if no one shows up? What if only 10,000 more people -- quite possibly elderly Red Sox, Phillies, Dodgers and Yankees fans transplanted to Florida -- show up to the game? Is this more than just a desperate attempt at filling the seats to accomdate Evan Longoria and David Price's requests for more fan support?

Maybe that's what it will take to start seriously considering moving baseball the hell out of St. Petersburg.

This kind of reminds me of the Florida Marlins' situation. They got smart and decided to uproot from Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium Dolphins Stadium Dolphin Stadium Landshark Stadium Sun Life Stadium and become the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in 2012. Although they will likely still suck and they're not changing cities, they're changing locations and moving into a home of their own that they no longer need to share with the Dolphins... kind of like how the Minnesota Twins got the hell out of the Metrodome and left that dump for the Vikings to deal with.

So if you're in the area, head to the Trop at 4:45pm ET. There, you will be handed a free ticket if you are one of the first 20,000 people through the gate. If you already have a ticket, you are welcome to exchange it at Guest Services for a better seat if there is one available.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Will this publicity stunt help the organization? Will a taste of real-live baseball make the people come back for more next season?

[The Heater]

Update: This pic comes courtesy of Rays Index. Apparently, this is a line of fans standing roughly 125 yards from the gate and is just one of three lines of freeloaders...


Anonymous said...

"what if no one shows up?"

Oh god, I never thought of that. It is kind of short notice though... lol