SBD/8/Franchises

RAYS OF LIGHT FOR MLB? TAMPA OPENER SELLS OUT IN 17 MINUTES

          The Devil Rays put on sale single-day tickets for its
     inaugural season over the weekend, and when the stadium box
     office closed Saturday evening, team officials "estimated
     5,000 fans had been by and approximately 100,000 tickets had
     been sold," according to John Romano of the ST. PETERSBURG
     TIMES.  With those tickets added to the 23,000 season tickets
     the team has sold an advance attendance of "nearly" 2 million
     for the '98 season.  Romano added that the Devil Rays "were
     not just selling tickets, they were selling themselves," as
     manager Larry Rothschild and more than a dozen players and
     coaches were on hand  (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/7).  Opening
     Day tickets for Tropicana Field sold out in 17 minutes (TAMPA
     TRIBUNE, 12/7).

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