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Should the Tampa Bay Rays do a better job of marketing to LGBT community?

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Should the Tampa Bay Rays consider a Gay Beach?

How about an LGBT Rays’ Tank?

The Rays, next-to-last in baseball attendance to only Cleveland, have struggled to draw fans to Tropicana Field, again. That’s no secret.

Yet, for Friday night’s Pride Night, the Rays drew more than 40,000 fans for the game, where the profits were dedicated to the shootings of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. All profits were donated to the Pulse Victims’ club.

In other words, on a Pride Night, the Rays drew plenty. On other nights, they have not drawn as well, barely more than 16,000 pr night.

So should the Rays section off part of the stands for gay fans? Should they embrace fans on a nightly basis as they did Friday night (admirably so).

Okay, okay. The team couldn’t afford to donate its profits every night. But perhaps the team should consider marketing its ticket sales to be inclusive of gay fans.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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