You have been figuring out how to propose to your girlfriend for weeks when it finally hits you–you should ask her at a baseball game. You would not be the first, you’d be far from the last, and as far as “creative proposals” go, you would be about as unoriginal as it gets. At the same time, though, it could be an amazing experience and a nice way to link your two passions: baseball and her.
Now that you have actually decided to go on with it, your next task is to figure out how much it costs. You search online and you find out that it costs $500 (all donated to charity) to propose on the video screen at the stadium of your Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field. That is a small price to pay to tell her you want to spend the rest of your life with her in the coolest way that you baseball-flooded mind can come up with. Out of curiosity, though, you look at what other teams charge to propose at their stadiums. You come across articles like this, and immediately you see that the Rays’ $500 number ties them for third-most in baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, and Houston Astros. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers ($2500) and the Washington Nationals ($1500) cost more. You’ll pony up the money anyway–it’s not like you’re about to travel to Pittsburgh to propose for $38.50–but that does tick you off a little bit. Why do the proposals at Tropicana Field cost so much?
If you complain to your friend who’s into economics and happens to be a fan of the Rays, he will give you a couple of excuses. The first is supply and demand. Let’s face it–there are not that many Rays fans and they do not come to many games. They have to charge more to donate anywhere near the same amount to charity that other teams do. The fans that actually do want a Tropicana Field proposal must be die-hards who are willing to pay the money. In addition, how many fans actually know the prices to propose at various stadiums? If you give them a number, they will be happy. The Rays just have a good business strategy, as we know from everything else about them. How can we blame them for charging more?
The other side of graphics like this one here, though, is that they do not tell you what you are getting for your money. Just nine of baseball’s 30 teams offer the opportunity to propose live on the scoreboard. The average price of those proposals: $751, so you are actually getting a pretty good value at Tropicana Field–except that the median is actually $500. But of those nine, there are all sorts of restrictions. The Boston Red Sox don’t let you actually show the proposal on the video board while the Cardinals won’t let you it propose during a game. The Dodgers allow just one per month, and the Nationals give just two couples the opportunity per season. The Rays’ only restriction, meanwhile, is one per game. Imagine you have made up your mind and you call the team fully willing to pay whatever they ask only to find out that somebody has already taken your spot. For Tropicana Field proposals, as long as you plan your experience a couple weeks in advance, your proposal will indeed happen precisely as you hope.
If you want to propose at Tropicana Field, best of luck. $500 sounds expensive, but it is a solid value considering how often they offer it, and it will be money well spent…as long as she says yes. The Tampa Bay Rays hope to take their team to the next level this season with a championship, and if you want to take your relationship to the next level, consider–at least for a moment–doing so in the stadium if your favorite team.