Seattle seafood restaurant turns down Tampa Bay Rays for web domain, ‘we’re true to who we are’
Sep 21, 2022, 4:53 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm
Tampa Bay is out of luck, and we’re not talking about the MLB wildcard race against the Mariners.
The Tampa Bay Rays are no closer to getting the desired web address Rays.com than when Major League Baseball first approached the long-time Ballard restaurant that owns the domain.
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Ray’s Boathouse is a seafood restaurant that sits on the waterfront overlooking Shilshole Bay in Ballard with its iconic red sign and has been at its location since the 1940s, when it was little more than a coffee shop. As a restaurant, it will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“I think in 1998 when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays came into existence, they wanted the website Rays.com,” Doug Zellers, GM and co-owner of Ray’s Boathouse told KIRO Newsradio.
But he says Ray’s got ahead of the game, obtaining the domain when the Internet was in its infancy.
“When those domain names came up, [the ownership group] realized how important it was, and we wanted to make sure we got something that represented the brand.”
Twin brothers recently sold Twins.com to Minnesota for an undisclosed amount of money, fueling talk about the MLB’s quest to get desired web addresses for all of its professional teams.
Geekwire points out that in 2015, MLB managed to secure Rangers.com for Texas for $315,000 which prompted KIRO Newsradio to ask Ray’s Boathouse, “Do you have a price? What would you hold out for?”
“No,” Zellers insisted, “there’s no price. The ownership group is not interested in selling that off.”
He says a simple, four-letter domain is great from a marketing and promotions standpoint.
“Plus, it’s some brand integrity,” he said. “We’re true to who we are. We’re not going to sell out for money to change who we are or what we stand for.”
Still, Zellers says he’s happy to sit down and talk with MLB.
“Come in. You can sit on the deck and I’ll shake your hands and we’ll have a good time. You can learn all about Rays.”
At Ray’s, you can buy salmon, oysters, and pan-seared scallops, but Rays.com is not for sale.