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RANT: Ticket Prices

So I stroll home this evening and make my rounds on the web as always when I stroll across this article announcing seating prices for next season.

Now, seeing as though I go to some 30 home games a year, seating prices are obviously quite an issue for me. I can't go buying $150 tickets every night and sitting in luxury, I buy the cheapest seat or squirm for free tickets any way I can. I really don't even look at the 'Lower Reserve' seating, I look for the cheapest one so I can sit with my kind, "the unwashed". I even made a point of telling someone surveying fans last year that if they could just make "The Beach" a budget section again, it would help my pocket greatly, and make me feel really good about the team.

But what do I get instead? I get to pay $3 more for the "privilege" of seeing New York and Boston. This is the second straight year this team has tried to pass on this crap to their fan base, and I for one am sick of it. You raise the prices 60% in the upper deck before last season, and expect people to pay the same price to sit in the Beach as they would the front row seat smack dab behind home plate in 300. Look at this seating map.

For an organization with so much talent from Wall Street, they sure do lack common sense. Who in the hell is going to pay $8 to sit in East Jesus over at 351 when you make the seats behind home plate the same price. You all have been to the Beach, aside from cheap be/college night, and "prime" games, that section has, maybe, three people in it and that is if they are lucky. Why don't you show some gratitude to the fans who came through the turnstiles 20% more this season? No, let's screw them over yet again.

All I ask is for one corner of the ballpark for which to sit in that costs $5 or less, ONE FREAKIN SECTION. Would you really bleed red from that? Come on, throw me a bone. You've already taken away my spring training and you've already jacked up the prices once, all I ask for is one tiny little corner of one tiny little section that is affordable. Is that too damn much to ask?

As if that weren't bad enough, what really infuriates me is that they seem to think that people are stupid. I read you the exact quote from the synopsis of the article on the main site.

The Rays announced that the cost of individual tickets will vary for higher-profile "prime games" vs. "non-prime games" for the 2007 season. As an added bonus, the team said the $10 parking fee will be waived again for the 2007 campaign.

Hey, look at that free parking while we swindle you out of money!

Way to add in something completely unrelated to make it look like you didn't just pull a fast one on the loyal fans of the team. Thanks. But the BS continues once you read further inside the article. You can take your free parking and you know where you can shove it, I don't mind riding my bike to the game or parking in the "free lots" that any fan with half a brain has known about for years.

The average ticket price for individual game tickets will increase less than $1, from $22.35 in 2006 to $23.19 in 2007. Given the decline in prices for the 2006 season, the average price of Rays tickets has increased less than 50 cents since 2005.

Gee, way to be objective there Chastain, you tool. Cite statistical information that tries to distort the fact that the team is raising prices like Naimoli did every year. But read further, look what they try to do.

The average price of seats in Tropicana Field's largest and lowest-priced seating category -- the Upper Deck -- will decrease slightly, from $9.45 to $9.30. The Rays have restructured the pricing for that category so that all upper deck seats will be one price: $8 for non-prime games and $13 for prime games. This pricing also applies to the seating section formerly named "The Beach." That section will be remodeled and renamed during the offseason.

Oh gee, you're right Bill Chastain, it is me that wins. Completely ignore the fact that the consolidation of the two seating sections was specifically designed to make the statistical bit sound better. And as well, ignore the fact that fans sitting in East Jesus are screwed over.

You can remodel the Beach, you can re-name it, you can do whatever you want, but you can't move the seating section closer. You can spray Lysol on shit all you want, but in the end, it is still shit.

"Our fans are pleased with the upgrades we have made to Tropicana Field as well as the enhancements we have made to the overall experience," said Rays president Matt Silverman. "This offseason, we will continue to seek ways to improve the ballpark experience. Over the last three seasons, our average ticket price has increased less than two percent. We are proud to offer our fans one of the most enjoyable and affordable experiences in Major League Baseball."

Here's how you can improve my fan experience, please stop peeing on my head and telling me its raining.

The ticket price swindling does not bother me as much as the simplistic distortion that accompanies it. You are raising ticket prices after you lost 101 games. You aren't "improving the fan experience", you are raising the prices and screwing people over. Stop trying to claim otherwise, it is insulting to my intelligence.

The individual game ticket prices are as follows.

Individual Game Tickets

Prime games (21 games)non-prime games (60)

Upper Reserve/Deck $13$8
Outfield $22/$17
Terrace Box $38/$22
Lower Reserve $38/$22
Diamond Club Box $45/$26
Lower Box $55/$40
Lower Club Box $70/$52
Field Box $115/$85
Rays Club $150/$110

The Tribune offers a take with much less spin and bullshit here