It was a great night to be a Rays fan Friday night, even if it didn’t show on the scoreboard with a 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants in an interleague game.
It was supposed to have been Pride Night, a chance for the LGBT community to show their spirit and go see some baseball. But, in light of the tragic shooting last week in Orlando, the event was turned into a makeshift benefit for the victims. Beginning the previous Tuesday (June 14th), tickets that were still available went on sale for as low as just $5. Not only did the game sell out to its regular capacity of just above 31,500, the Rays decided to remove the usually tarped over seats in the upper deck 300 level.
In all, 40,136 tickets were sold for a Friday night game, the biggest crowd the Rays have had for a regular season game in over ten years. Watching the game, it didn’t appear to me that the seats were completely filled, looking like a crowd of just under 30,000. But it didn’t matter. The tickets were bought, and the Rays ball club was able to raise over $300,000 for those lives tragically cut short.
It just goes to show you that there is a market for Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay area. It’s just a matter of find the pricing and location that taps into that market to make the enterprise profitable and enjoyable at all.