Oh, how I love it when teams, fans and media get ahead of themselves and start talking about playoff tickets some time before the magic number reaches zilch. After all, it's never too early to start talking about ticket paper that might turn into an angry reminder of how your team blew it.
Down in Tampa, the Rays are tickling me with the talk they won't take off the tarps in the upper deck seats, thereby increasing the capacity — and presumably the homefield advantage with the extra noise — for any potential playoff games
Should the Rays make the playoffs, don't look for the team to increase capacity at the Trop. It is now 36,048; used to be 43,700. According to a Rays' spokesman, the team has no plans to unwrap that light blue tarp from those top-tier seats.
"We would not remove the tarp," states Rays' Vice President for Communications Rick Vaughn. "The building operates well at the current capacity. The seats beneath the tarps don't provide the experience we expect to deliver to our fans.
Wait, so the "experience" below the tarps — not that anyone was up there anyway — was OK for fans until the capacity was reduced before the 2007 season?
Sure sounds like someone is afraid that the Rays' average attendance of 21,516 fans a game might translate into looking like the Atlanta Braves' Turner Field during the playoffs.
In other words, either Tropicana Field will feature plenty of empty seats or it'll have droves of Twins and White Sox fans filling the available space.
Still, I suppose it's nice for the Rays to be having these questions asked in the first place. Anyone know when they're mailing out the
painful souvenirs playoff tickets to season ticket holders?
A big BLS head nod goes to DRaysBay for the tip.