Rays Playoff Tickets Can Be Found - At A Price
By Ted Jackovics | Tribune StaffTAMPA - Dave Webster and his wife, Leslie, Tampa Bay Rays fans for a decade, plan to drive 1,750 miles from El Paso, Texas, to St. Petersburg this week in the hope of finding tickets for the Rays' playoff home stand Thursday and Friday.
Published: September 30, 2008
Published: September 30, 2008
They hope to arrive Wednesday and luck out with contacts among local friends. Although tickets can be found through online resellers, they aren't in big supply.
For example, fewer Rays playoff tickets are available from online brokers for the opening game at 2:30 p.m. Thursday than the second game Friday at the more manageable school and workday hour of 6 p.m.
"My thought was what chance will we have of this happening again with the Rays anytime soon?" said Webster, a retired lawyer. He divides his year between El Paso and St. Petersburg, and has followed the Rays since the team's inaugural season in 1998.
Webster intends to make his first stop in St. Petersburg at Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill across from Tropicana Field, where he hopes to score some tickets from people he knows.
Other fans are expected to snap up tickets through traditional ticket brokers, online sellers and friends with connections for the first playoff series in Rays history.
The Rays sold out their tickets for the three American League Division Series playoff games scheduled for Tropicana Field, including the fifth game Oct. 8 if that is necessary.
But as of Monday afternoon, tickets could be found through online ticket brokers, in addition to deals offered on eBay and Craigslist.com.
A breakdown of some of the availability:
• StubHub.com had 873 tickets for Thursday's game, priced from $63 to $1,000. Another 1,888 tickets were available for Friday's game, selling for $52 to $1,050.
StubHub allows sellers to set their price for tickets. The Rays sold tickets at 10 prices, from $20 for upper-deck seats to $295 for Home Plate Club seats.
• TotalTickets.com had 309 tickets for sale for Thursday's game from $59 to $1,000 and 1,058 tickets for Friday's game from $55 to $875.
• RazorGator.com had about 400 tickets available for Thursday's game from $62 to $895. Another 485 tickets were available for Friday's game at prices from $66 to $783.
• TicketsNow.com, a Ticketmaster-owned reseller, had 530 tickets for Thursday's game from $55 to $856. A suite accommodating 16 people was offered for $4,494, not including food and beverages. Another 731 tickets were available for Friday's game from $54 to $749.
In addition to online brokers, buyers and sellers have posted multiple entries on eBay and Craigslist for Rays playoff tickets. Print and online newspaper Web sites also offered tickets for sale Monday.
With StubHub as the measure for the opening Division Series games, the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers was the toughest ticket - if not the most expensive - with 490 for sale from $95 to $1,150.
That compared with 675 tickets for sale for the Chicago Cubs' home opener Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers at prices ranging from $95 for standing room to $2,500. The Rays ranked third in availability, with 873, and 3,511 were available for the Los Angeles Angels home opener Wednesday with the Boston Red Sox at prices from $56 to $1,250.
The Websters expect to remain in St. Petersburg for as long as the Rays advance through the postseason.
"I think this season was a pretty big surprise," Webster said. "Anybody who didn't has to be kidding."
Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at (813) 259-7817 or tjackovics @tampatrib.com.