If You Remove Them, They will Come!


With the Tampa Bay Rays pulling off a miracle of their own today in Arlington, Texas, you would hope that Major League Baseball hierarchy, which takes over the prospective team’s stadium (Tropicana Field) for the postseason would possibly even entertain the far fetched thought of uncovering the 5,762 seats currently hidden under a veil of blue plastic in Tropicana Field’s Upper Deck.

For the entire 2010 season, MLB has stood silent and let more than a few National and local media sources batter and bewilder the Rays front office with the team’s visual weekday 2010 attendance woes. With attendance down in every ballpark within the MLB kingdom, they let the media pound the Tampa Bay community as MLB’s (New York) office took a back seat totally within the dark shadows.

Boasting sell-out crowd in both Game 1 and Game 2 , both in the afternoon of the first round of the American League Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers, you would think maybe it was time for MLB and the Rays front office to possibly re-discuss and jointly decide to uncover the dusty obstructed view Upper Deck seats and get a few more excited and extra revenue inducing Rays Republicans in those lofty seats.

MLB’s executive offices (in New York City) had been more than firm with the Rays front office even as far back as 2008 on their on-going commitment to not even let the local Rays consider removing those blue tarps until the team possibly advances to the 2010 World Series. Even if www.raysbaseball.com would conveniently sell out their remaining Game 5 tickets before 10 am on Monday when tickets are available to the general public, MLB will stand concrete in their previous decisions to leave the blue tarps upon the Upper 300’s section’s seats.

Gone is the common sense mentality that even with a fast sell out of online tickets, opening this previously tarp-covered region would go deaf upon MLB’s ears even with a nice monetary incentive of deciding removing the tarps and providing extra vocal and unexpected revenues towards the postseason money pot.


The only other time the MLB has given the Rays Front Office permission to sell those seats was in September 2008 when MLB decided to unwrap the high level seats for Game 6 and Game 7 of the American League Championship Series with the Rays playing their usual sell-out opponent, the Boston Red Sox. That small decision increased the Tropicana Field capacity from 36,048 to an audio-popping 42,048 fanatics. But if the Rays can logically sell out those extra 5,762 seats before issuing Standing Room Only (SRO) seating in the lower bowl, isn’t it a “win-win” opportunity for the Rays and MLB in the long run?

But maybe that is the problem with my logic. It makes sense, and usually that kind of rhetoric doesn’t apply well with the aspects of unforeseen money and a possible variable of ticket revenues that would have to be eventually pushed into the playoff pot and divided accordingly with the MLB, the teams and with the players. With the aspect of expendable money at a premium in this Tampa Bay region, if a Rays fans, or any baseball fan want to throw their money at you , wouldn’t you be foolish to push them away towards game day refuge at a local Sports bars or sitting at home watching on television and loosing that instant revenue?

MLB could give the Tampa Bay region the ammunition right now to fight back the well disguised ruse of our overall attendance situation and show that this Tampa Bay region is a great baseball community by providing additional seats by removing the tarps that some view as a hindrance to this community getting total respect from the Baseball World.

By MLB giving the Rays Front Office even the remote possibility or permission to tuck those tarps away for this deciding ALDS game could be viewed as their admittance that this region can sell seats and give the wrong impression to the rest of the Baseball World.

That right there might be a solid reasoning why MLB can not in full faith offer that option.

If MLB does grant this request, it would be like the MLB hierarchy is not condemning the low seasonal attendance, and instead maybe rewarding the bandwagon fans who might be here just for the ALDS game, then revert back to their usual viewing habits. What could be viewed as a great “win-win” situation for the organizations involved might in fact trigger a external discussion on why this facility is not suitable for baseball.


There is no way that MLB will open the forbidden “Pandora’s Box” of the Rays impending stadium situation by giving something to reward the few Rays Republic faithful who still seek to attend a ALDS game. It is sad, but true. Baseball is a huge industry that will not intentionally put itself in a bad light towards the Rays future situation.

But why is it that the possibility of removing a few blue tarps in the Trop’s Upper Deck being treated like a political red herring instead of an opportunity to entice and gather more Tampa Bay community fans to the Major League Baseball community. MLB has said in the past that Tropicana Field present ( with tarps) capacity provides an intimate setting for baseball. That might be true, but wouldn’t 5,762 extra fans yelling ,screaming and spending their money make MLB and the Rays smile from ear-to-ear.

If you need someone to help clean, unwrap or even dust those seats before Tuesday, give me a call. I will do whatever I can to get an extra 5,762 extra members of the Rays Republic into those seats and make the Trop shake with enough noise and thunderous movement to set off a seismometer somewhere in the Southeast.


Dude, this is setting up to be a wicked awesome win-or-go-home game. I want to see the Trop FULL of people.

As of right now, the Stub Hub and Tacketmasters’ of the World have the availiable tickets. The general public has tasted and bought all the still open seats after the Season Ticket holders got their extra slices of the money pie.
It will be a sell out, but would have loved to seen the top top to bottom nestled with Rays blue cowbell welding maniacs…but that is just me.

Rays Renegade


I must be really dense. What is the problem with uncovering the tarp seats and why doesn’t MLB want the Rays to do it? I don’t see the logic. Anyhow, congrats on the huge win today. Tuesday is going to be must-see TV for all baseball fans.


Since I wrote this post, the Rays and MLB have discussed it,and 5,000 seats will be on sale Monday for $ 30 each.
I know I do not have the pull or the power to get those great minds thinking alike, but would like to think it was at least in the ballpark of discussion between the two forces before I posted this Sunday late afternoon.
Now all we have to do is sell out the 5,000 seats and show the rest of the country the Rays have support and fans in this community.

Rays Renegade


Woohoo! You made them release those seats. Talk about power and influence. So when are you running for President? lol.


I always wanted to be a politican, but did not have that toothy smile for miles, or the second face needed on occasions.
I wish I had something to do with it. Reality is that the Rays probably petitioned for the removal before the ALDS went to Texas. Just got a good feeling for MLB right now. It is time to sell those 5,000 puppies and bring on the pain tomorrow night!

Rays Renegade


I thought the Rays got some sort of a hand out from MLB which gave them the rights to those seats and wasn’t the delay just the negotiation of how much the Rays wanted to buy them back for, so they could sell them?


Phillies Outside

A Commished who’s made a career chasing the money in all matters MLB would restrict the sale of all those seats? Smells fishy Double R! But I’m glad to see, for the moment, they have come to their senses. Good luck tonight Cliff! I’m hoping for a good game and a Rays win. Between you and Texas, I’d rather see you guys beat the Yanks. Besides, I have to pull for my homeboy Sternberg.

Think it is more that MLB can use all the revenues they can get during the playoffs to boost the shares divided between the teams, and their own deep coffers.
If we do not sell all 5,000 of those seats, Tampa Bay deserves the trash talking about support and attendance.

Rays Renegade


That is the first time I have heard MLB selling a postseason seat back to the home team, but it would not surprise me at all.
Hopefully it was a good transaction, and will provide some positive tunes singing in the air of screaming Rays fans up in the heavens wanting their team to win.

Rays Renegade


Here’s to a very packed, very LOUD crowd tonight at the Trop…at least until the 10th run crosses the plate in the top of the first.

Great that you remembered that we have beaten Cliff Lee 3 times this year. Maybe it is time for someone to take him off his postseaon throne too.
10 runs huh?
I would think this game would not even total 10 runs from both sides, but you never know what will happen.
I can assure you the rafters will be trembling tonight, and I will be clapping in the first row ( as usual).

Rays Renegade


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