Don’t miss catching a baseball game whilst in Florida
Take the opportunity to catch a game at the ballpark while you are in Florida. With the Tampa Bay Rays located in St Petersburg this is the perfect chance to be a part of this all-American national pastime!
A part of the Major League, the Tampa Bay Rays play their home games at the domed Tropicana Field stadium, known colloquially as The Trop. The stadium opened in 1990 as the Florida Sunset Dome, and played host to the Tampa Bay Lightning ice hockey team in the early 90s when it was known as the ThunderDome, before later rebranding after a naming-rights deal with fruit juice company Tropicana. It is here that the Tampa Bay Rays have called home ever since their inception in 1998, when they were known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Did you know? The 270m-long ceramic-tile mosaic walkway at the entrance to the venue is the largest outdoor mosaic in Florida, and the fifth largest in the US?
The Rays play in the American League East, one of six Major League Baseball divisions, and narrowly missed out on the postseason last year. This is the only division to include a non-American team – the Toronto Blue Jays. The division also includes the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees all of which you can catch playing against Tampa Bay throughout the season, at the 1.1 million sqft Tropicana Fields, which also has a range of amenities that will make your day out one to remember!
As with any major sporting event nowadays, there are certain security checks and procedures in place. This year Tropicana Field has introduced a new backpack policy prohibiting them from the stadium. The only exceptions to this rule are those carried for medical reasons or for nappy-changing etc for young children. Any bag larger than 16” x 16” x 8” will also be restricted, and bag checks are also carried out. For full information on what you can and can’t bring into the stadium, check the website.
Baseball tip: If you are a wrestling fan, watch out for Hulk Hogan, John Cena and others in the stands – there are a lot of professional wrestlers in the area who frequent the Rays’ games!
When you are inside the stadium, why not pick up some official clothing at the Rays Republic Main Team Store near to Gate 1, where you can show your support for your new favourite baseball team! If you are interested in special memorabilia, then stop off at the Rays Authentics Store in the complex’s Center Field Street, which includes team-issued and signed jerseys, bats, helmets and balls. What’s more, all proceeds benefit the charitable Rays Baseball Foundation, which does a lot to help the local community. To try to keep waiting times down, Tropicana Fields is a cash-free site, so you’ll need to have a debit/credit card, or contactless payment such as Apple Pay or Google Pay at the ready if you want to buy anything from the stores or food outlets.
In addition to the shopping experiences, there are plenty of free interactive experiences that everyone can get involved with, especially the kids! These include the Grand Slam Alley, an arcade-style area in the stadium and the Home Run Derby a hitting and pitching simulator, both free on Sundays. If you want to be immortalised on a Topps baseball card, you’ve come to the right place – on Sundays fans can be added to a Rays baseball card just like all of the greats! For fans aged 14 or younger, head to Raymond’s Arty Studio, for some free craft-based art fun near to Gate 1. If that isn’t enough to keep the kids entertained, the Interactive Playground near to the Rays Touch Tank, has a range of virtual games and is bound to prove great fun! The Rays Touch Tank is a 10000 gallon tank filled with three species of ray that were taken from local waters. It is a 35ft long tank and is one of the ten largest in the US, visiting it is free to fans attending home games. However, only 40 people can visit at any one time, so it might be a good idea to get there as soon as you can. The tank opens around 20 minutes after the gates open, closing to the public two hours after the first pitch, and you have the chance to see the rays up close, as well as learning more about the various species and other aquatic life.
For a look at baseballing history, a visit to the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame should definitely be on the cards. Learn about one of baseball’s legendary players with these exhibits from his career and time in the US Marine Corps during WWII and the Korean War. The museum also houses collections from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and more icons of the sport.
Baseball tip: Watch out for the ball heading towards you – fans can keep any baseballs hit into the stand, which would certainly make a talking point back home!
Before you take your seats at the stadium, you might want to pick up something to eat from one of the food outlets around the stadium. As well as the Jumbo Pretzel Dog (a quarter pound beef hot dog with beer cheese sauce on a Bavarian pretzel bun), there are plenty of other mouth-watering offerings. Why not try the Cuban Nachos, or yummy BBQ Bacon Burger? If you are attending a baseball game at the stadium, remember to take your ID if you are planning on buying alcoholic drinks, as you will be asked to prove you are 21 or older. Please be advised that you can only buy two alcoholic drinks at a time.
This year the Tampa Ray Bays are bringing back their iconic multicoloured jerseys from the 1990s for select games during the 2019 season. Four dates have been announced on their website – 20th April, 11th May, 15th June and 17th August. If you want to catch the team in these special jerseys book your tickets online. If you can’t make these dates, don’t worry – there are plenty of opportunities to see the team taking on some challenging opponents – check the home game schedule below.
Baseball tip: If you have lost your tickets, left them behind, or need them reprinted for some reason, head to the BayCare Box Office – it’ll cost you $5 per ticket to get them reprinted.
If you are driving to the stadium, parking will cost between $15 and $30 dependent on the game. If you have four or more passengers for a Sunday game, parking however will be free. Generally tickets cost from $15 per person depending on the game and seating options, and children aged 2+ must have a ticket to enter the stadium. However, it’s worth looking carefully at the schedule as there are significant discounts on select dates for over 60s (Senior Special tickets are only $15), 14s and under (tickets are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket) as well as 7-Eleven $7.11 tickets (visit a participating 7-Eleven store to pick up a Rays Friday night discount coupon).
Next three months home game schedule
- v Boston Red Sox: 19th April 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v Boston Red Sox: 20th April 6:10pm
- v Boston Red Sox: 21st April 2:10pm
- v Kansas City Royals: 22nd April 7:10pm
- v Kansas City Royals: 23rd April 7:10pm
- v Kansas City Royals: 24th April 1:10pm (Senior Special)
- v Arizona Diamondbacks: 6th May 7:10pm
- v Arizona Diamondbacks: 7th May 7:10pm
- v Arizona Diamondbacks: 8th May 1:10pm (Senior Special)
- v New York Yankees: 10th May 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v New York Yankees: 11th May 6:10pm
- v New York Yankees: 12th May 1:10pm
- v Los Angeles Dodgers: 21st May 7:10pm
- v Los Angeles Dodgers: 22nd May 7:10pm
- v Toronto Blue Jays: 27th May 1:10pm
- v Toronto Blue Jays: 28th May 7:10pm
- v Toronto Blue Jays: 29th May 7:10pm
- v Minnesota Twins: 30th May 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v Minnesota Twins: 31st May 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v Minnesota Twins: 1st June 1:10pm
- v Minnesota Twins: 2nd June 1:10pm
- v Oakland Athletics: 10th June 7:10pm
- v Oakland Athletics: 11th June 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v Oakland Athletics: 12th June 7:10pm (Senior Special)
- v Los Angeles Angels: 13th June 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v Los Angeles Angels: 14th June 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v Los Angeles Angels: 15th June 1:10pm
- v Los Angeles Angels: 16th June 1:10pm
- v Texas Rangers: 28th June 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v Texas Rangers: 29th June 4:10pm
- v Texas Rangers: 30th June 1:10pm
- v Baltimore Orioles: 1st July 7:10pm
- v Baltimore Orioles: 2nd July 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v Baltimore Orioles: 3rd July 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v New York Yankees: 4th July 5:10pm (Senior Special)
- v New York Yankees: 5th July 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v New York Yankees: 6th July 4:10pm
- v New York Yankees: 7th July 1:10pm
- v Chicago White Sox: 19th July 7:10pm ($7.11 tickets, presented by 7-Eleven)
- v Chicago White Sox: 20th July 6:10pm
- v Chicago White Sox: 21st July 1:10pm
- v Boston Red Sox: 22nd July 7:10pm
- v Boston Red Sox: 23rd July 7:10pm ($2 Kids Tickets)
- v Boston Red Sox: 24th July 7:10pm (Senior Special)
The Tampa Bay Rays baseball season carries on until the end of September. You can check the full schedule on their website. Other promotional events also run throughout the season – check the website for full details.
Baseball tip: If you are keen on getting an autograph, make sure that you get to the railings before batting practice begins, or on days with no batting practice, 20 minutes before the game starts.
Address: 1 Tropicana Field Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33705