Home of The Tampa Bay Rays
Heard of The Tampa Bay Rays? Maybe the first time you heard of them was from their rise from "worst to first" in the race to win the 2008 World Series? What do you know about their 1.1 million square foot home field, Tropicana Field? This lens will give you a photo and video tour of Tropicana Field, along with some trivia about the Rays and their home turf.
One confusing fact is the location of the field. It's not in Tampa, FL, as some might guess from the team's name. The Tampa Bay Rays play at Tropicana Field - in St. Petersburg, Florida, which is a little over 20 miles south of Tampa. St. Petersburg and Tampa are part of several cities collectively known as the Tampa Bay area.
If you haven't been to the field in person, take this tour of The Trop, as locals affectionately call the stadium. I've included videos and photos to guide you.
Here's the outside of the Trop - a wide view to take in its distinctive shape.
Photo by Jennifer Akers, 2010
Welcome to Tropicana Field!
The Tampa Bay Rays
In 2008, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays dropped part of their name and became The Tampa Bay Rays.
Their uniform was redesigned, and their main colors are now navy blue, Columbia blue, and gold. It changed from black, green, and blue.
In 2008, The Tampa Rays won the American League Championship and qualified for the World Series. (Many think it was due to the drop of the "Devil" from their name).
Outside The Trop
Tour The Trop - Here's a tour of the stadium
Check out the sting rays' petting tank! Through a partnership with the Florida Aquarium, the tank features over 30 Cownose rays, which can be fed and petted before and during the games. If a player hits a home run into the tank, the organization will donate $5,000 to charity - $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium and $2,500 to the player's charity of choice.
Things You Can Bring Inside The Stadium
Food and water are allowed. Bottled water must be sealed (unopened) and no larger than 1 Litre. Food must be in a clear, plastic bag.
You can bring your camera, video cam, and even your laptop (must be smaller than 16 x 16 x 8 inches).
Hard containers/coolers, glass bottles, or cans. No beach balls, frisbees, or other things that are considered projectiles.
Tampa, Go Get Wild!
A fun song to cheer Tampa Bay fans - Let's Go Get Wild with the Rays!
The Game Starts
BJ Upton's Winning Homerun
One young and loyal fan cheers for BJ's winning homerun. More Cowbell!
Inside Tropicana Field
Family Fun Days on Sunday
The Tampa Bay Rays make it easy to bring the whole family to the ballgame. The St. Petersburg Times presents special pricing for Family Fun Days. For prime Sunday games, the Family Fun Day offer is $25 includes Outfield seats, based on availability. All Family Fun Day tickets also include a voucher for a hotdog, drink, and a snack.
On Sundays, kids can run the bases after the game. Family Fun Days also include more entertainment -- from clowns, face painters, and mascots in the Rotunda.
Summer Concert Series
In 2008, The Rays started a postgame concert series, including major singing artists. Concerts begin after the end of the game, and get this ... the concert is included in the game ticket price (and free!).
Some of the amazing singers and bands have included: ZZ Top, Beach Boys, Pat Benatar, 3 Doors Down, Ludacris, and Smash Mouth. A game and a concert ... for the price of a single game ticket! A win-win for fans!
We Love the Rays!
Though my family's been huge ball fans, I didn't really enjoy baseball until my son was born. I took him to his first baseball game, at Tropicana Field, when he was two and a half years old. His short attention span stayed glued to those players. He's been a fan ever since, and I found myself enjoying the games by watching his enthusiasm for the sport. I've enjoyed my new fan status through his love of baseball.
The games are family focused. The Rays' players, with their furry mascot, Raymond make the rounds before games. Once they start warming up on the field, some players will throw balls into the stands. Raymond is famous for winding his cart toward the fans and rocket-launching balls and t-shirts into the stands.
My son has Raymond's signature on the shirt he wore to a game. I also purchased a Rays Rookies pack for him one year. The goodies came packaged in a Rays sling bag, with the following:
* Official Rays Rookies T-Shirt
* Tampa Bay Rays Hat
* Rays Rookies Membership Card good for discounts around Tropicana Field
* Rays Rookies Newsletter
* Free Chick-fill-A kids meal
* Ticket vouchers to two (2) Rays home games from these select dates.
Rays Rookies is available for $20, to kids 14 and under. What a great deal!
How Do I Get There? - I-275 South
Directions to Tropicana Field
Look to the left of the center field scoreboard, and you'll find two retired players' numbers.
#12 -- 3b Wade Boggs (1998-1999, retired in 2001)
#42 -- Jackie Robinson (retired from the MLB in 1997)
A New Stadium for The Rays?
The Tampa Bay Rays have been asking the city and fans for a new stadium. Tons of ideas have been tossed around: from building an open air, waterfront stadium, to moving the whole team to the city of Tampa.
Since Tropicana Field is an indoor field, many baseball fans have complained about playing indoors with special rules for balls that hit the catwalks.
Should The Rays keep playing at Tropicana Field, or should they build a new stadium?
Spot the Trop by Water
On game wins, the Trop's top turns orange!