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Pricey night at the Trop for this fan

If Matt Silverman was actually counting noses Tuesday night at the Trop, mine was there.

My girlfriend’s, too.

The Tampa Bay Rays president said he was “bewildered” by the 19,608 attendance for the first of a three-game rematch with the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Team officials anticipated a full house, a nice spike in their average attendance, which is 24th in baseball.

I figured they’d have a much bigger turnout, too.

The Rays were on a roll and coming home.

I know I felt the vibe.

That’s why I got reserved seats ahead of time in right field.

Good seats.

Great view.

Good game, too, if you’re a Phillies fan like me since they won, 10-1.

But I reluctantly dismissed any ideas I might’ve had about returning for the following two games.

That’s because it turned out to be an expensive Tuesday night.

I was fine with the game tickets ($48).

Even the Trop parking ($15).

But the cost of food and beverages inside ($43) was too much.

It added up to a $106 night at the ballyard.

Glad as I was about the game’s outcome, I can’t afford too many of those.

If that skews Silverman’s crowd count, so be it.

Fact is, I happen to like the Trop for simple reasons.

Its location, so convenient to us on the south end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The courtesy of its ticket takers and ushers.

That even goes for the guys behind the concession counter.

They took my money with a smile and said thank you.

The Trop is a friendly place.

Although I can’t say the same for the teenagers who filled up the right side of our row Tuesday night.

Two of them, both girls, were in our seats when we arrived and acted out when we politely asked them to move over.

Excuse me!

Then they sat next to us and proceeded to yap about everything except the ballgame for the next seven innings.

Those empty rows of cheap seats high up and off to our left looked awfully inviting at that point.

Maybe next game.

Mannix About Manatee, by local columnist Vin Mannix,is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at vmannix@bradenton.com. Please include a phone number for verification.

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