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Ray's Boathouse in Ballard holds on to name wanted by the MLB

When the restaurant built its website it purchased the domain Rays.com, it was unaware the MLB would want the name for it's team the Tampa Bay Rays.

SEATTLE — Major League Baseball owns the domain name of almost all of its teams. 

One of the last holdouts is Rays.com, which is owned by longstanding Seattle seafood restaurant Ray's Boathouse.  

"I'm kind of fascinated with why people would spend money for a domain name but at the same time we're protective of ours, so I guess I get it," said Ray's Boathouse co-owner Doug Zellers. 

The fact came to light after it was reported this month Twins.com was sold to the league for an undisclosed amount. 

Now it's believed there are only two team domain names not owned by the league. Rays.com, and Giants.com, which is owned by the New York Giants professional football team. 

Ray's Boathouse is known for it's iconic neon sign along the Ballard waterfront. Zellers said the name is part of the brand. The business is named after it's founder Ray Lichenberger. He opened the fishing business in the 1940's. It later turned into a restaurant. 

"Great food, great drinks, good people and no where near Tampa Bay," Zellers said. 

When the seafood restaurant built its website it purchased the domain, it was unaware the MLB would want the name for it's team the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Zeller's said like the restaurant's iconic sign, the four-letter website name has made the restaurant's information easy to find. 

It's been at least a decade since the MLB has asked to purchase Rays.com. However, Zeller's said if the league were to come back around he'd tell them the name's not for sale. 

"I'd probably take them upstairs sit on the deck, talk about baseball a little bit. Have some beer, discuss how the Mariners are going to beat the [Rays] in the playoffs and how we're going to win the World Series this year. There wouldn't be any discussion about selling the name. It's not for sale," Zellers said. 


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