WJTV News Channel 12 - Tickets for Rays home playoff games on sale Friday

Tickets for Rays home playoff games on sale Friday

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ST PETERSBURG, FL -

Thanks to last night's shutout win in Cleveland, the Tampa Bay Rays are off to Boston in the AL Division Series.

This makes the Rays among the top eight teams in major league baseball.

Related: more about the Rays.

Team officials are hopeful the postseason can put a spike in lagging ticket sales.

It's been a while since the Rays have been back home. Their last game at Tropicana Field was on September 23rd. But now that they've earned this spot in the post season, fans are happy to welcome them back.

On Thursday, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster spoke in front of City Council members saying, "[We] do hereby proclaim October 2013 to be Celebrate the Rays Month in St Petersburg."

Related story: St. Pete Mayor Foster declares October 'Month of the Rays'

On Thursday morning, fans were already at Tropicana Field picking up new postseason gear.

Jim Rolston was buying gear for his grandchildren who live in Atlanta.

“After last night’s game, my two grand kids have become rabid Tampa Bay fans. They live outside of Atlanta,” he said.

The Atlanta Braves are making a buzz too, the team made it to the NLDS. And yet, “They love the Rays!” Rolston said with a smile.

City leaders are urging fans to go Tropicana field next week when the Rays host the Red Sox.

Rolston said, "We put together a great product for the last six years or so, we've been close to the playoffs, we've been in the playoffs and I hope that this will help build a really rabid fan base."

The Rays haven't had a problem pulling fans on air.

Fox Sports Florida says the Rays have pulled its second highest TV season ever- a ratings average of 4.93. That equals out to 89,063 Tampa households per game.

The problem this year has been on the field. Rays home games averaged 18,646 fans a game. Far below the stadium capacity of 43,772. The team ranks near the bottom of the MLB.

Related story: Mayor Foster says Rays can search outside St. Pete

Rays fan Raymond Adams and his wife Barbara are from Chicago.

“Forget the Cubs, Forget the White Sox, don’t dislike them, but I follow Tampa now,” said Raymond.

He is shocked at the Rays’ attendance struggles.

“How can you not have good attendance now? At the end where all the games meant something, and people still were not showing up?” he asked.

Barbara said, “We’re from Chicago and the Chicago Cubs, they’re always losing and they still get the crowds. And when we come down here the Rays have been having good years ever since we’ve been following them and they just don’t get the attendance. It’s just mind boggling to us.”

“If the Rays were in Chicago, you probably couldn’t even get a ticket. The scalpers would probably be wanting $1,000 a game,” said Raymond.

Both officials and fans alike hope to make up for it by luring loads of fans this October.

Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday at 1 p.m. exclusively at raysbaseball.com.

If tickets for Games 3 and 4 remain on Monday, they will be available for purchase through all Rays ticket outlets including the Tropicana Field Box Office, Rays Tampa Store (located at 400 N. Tampa St. in Tampa), all Ticketmaster locations and by calling 888-FAN-RAYS starting at 9 a.m. 


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