Tampa Bay Rays Home Schedule
See a Tampa Bay Rays Game Live on Your Vacation
Written April 11, 2017
April brings us some of our favorite “B”s; breezes, beaches and baseball! The start of the Major League Baseball season is a time of year we always look forward to at TradeWinds Island Resorts. One reason for this could be our close proximity to Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays! At just a short drive away – it’s easy to root, root, root for the home team for every game lined up in the Tampa Bay Rays home schedule. There are even some special events lined up when they are away too!
Tampa Bay Rays History
It was no easy feat bringing a baseball team to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, despite all of the MLB Spring Training Grapefruit league participants. More Spring Training games have been played in St. Petersburg than in any other city, yet it took thirty years to bring a Major League team to the area. After decades of trying to lure existing Major League Baseball teams to relocate to St. Petersburg, the area was finally granted an expansion franchise in 1995. At a meeting in West Palm Beach, owners announced the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks as the thirteenth and fourteenth expansion teams in MLB history.
The team played as the Devil Rays for just fewer than ten years, from 1998 until 2007, when the decision was then made to drop the ‘Devil’ and just become The Rays. New colors of navy and light blue replaced black and green, and a new logo featuring a sunburst replaced the former namesake Devil Ray. Rays President Matt Silverman stated, “The Tampa Bay Rays will shine, on the field and in our community.” Despite the name change, you can still see an updated version of the old Devil Rays logo on the left sleeve of Ray’s uniforms, and guests are still able to visit their signature touch tank featuring a number of Cownose Rays at Tropicana Field.
With new colors and a new name came a new mascot. In 2007, the Rays introduced Raymond- a furry blue creature that’s been described as a ‘sea dog’. Raymond is decked out in Rays gear from head to toe, complete with backwards hat to oversized sneakers. Legend has it Raymond was born somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, fitting for a team located in the Tampa Bay area. The Rays also have a secondary mascot that holds court behind left field, the world was introduced to DJ Kitty in 2010. He is a black and white cat and the designated Disc Jockey for the Tampa Bay Rays. DJ Kitty’s origin remains fairly mysterious, although it’s been said that players sparked it after watching videos of “Keyboard Cat” at games.
The only Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Hall of Famer is the legendary hitter Wade Boggs. He signed with Tampa Bay for the final two seasons of his career and is credited with hitting the first homerun in Rays history. He also earned his 3,000th hit with the Rays, a homerun in 1999. There are two yellow seats that stand out among the blue in the stands at Tropicana Field. His number, twelve, was retired by the Rays in 2000. Only three other numbers have been retired in Tampa Bay Rays history; twelve for Wade Boggs, sixty-six for coach Don Zimmer and forty-two for Jack Robinson. The last was retired by all Major League Baseball teams.
There are three Rays Alumni in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame who may one day join the ranks of Wade Boggs in Cooperstown. The first is outfielder Johnny Damon, who grew up in the Orlando area and played for the Rays in 2011. The second is first baseman Tino Martinez, who was born and raised in Tampa and played for the Rays in 2004. The last Florida Sports Hall of Famer is first baseman Fred McGriff, who was also born in Tampa and played for the Rays’ 1998-2001 and 2004 seasons.
Tropicana Field is located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg at 1 Tropicana Drive, less than ten minutes from St. Pete Beach. One quick drive down the Bay Way on I-275 from TradeWinds Island Resorts will have you walking down the signature ceramic mural and through the Rays Rotunda. Built in 1990, the field has housed 16 other sports at one point or another including hockey and arena football. Both of the latter also set attendance records for the NHL and AFL respectively.
The Tampa Bay Rays seating chart features a newly renovated club level, party deck and even a touch tank where guests can have an up close and personal encounter with Cownose Rays (a nod to their previous mascot). Tropicana Field also has seats behind the backstop that are some of the closest in Major League, at 50 feet from home plate.
Parking at Tropicana Field
There is ample Tampa Bay Rays parking spots located at and around Tropicana Field. With a new green initiative, the Rays offer carpoolers “access to free parking in team-controlled parking lots.” For all home games, the first 100 cars full of 4 or more passengers are able to park for free. On Sundays, all cars full of 4 or more passengers on can park for free. The Rays also offer reserved and discounted parking closer to the stadium with packages for season ticket holders. Public and commercial parking in city-owned spots is also available in the area surrounding Tropicana Field. It is always helpful to view the Tampa Bay Rays parking map before heading out to the game.
Tampa Bay Rays Home Schedule
With 81 home games on the Tampa Bay Rays home schedule, there is ample opportunity to watch them live at Tropicana Field. They are joined in the American League East with fellow heavy hitting rivals like the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. While their biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, reside in their own division, the Rays have also known to have some heated face-offs with the Miami Marlins whom they play in the Citrus Series. While the Tampa Bay Rays have only made one World Series appearance in 2008, everyone in St. Petersburg knows a World Series win at Tropicana Field will happen in a matter of time.
Tampa Bay Rays Vacation Packages
With plenty of hotels near Tampa Bay Rays stadium, there’s no reason not to enjoy a little baseball and some beach! Because there are so many opportunities the see the Tampa Bay Rays in action, why not make the ultimate beach vacation out of your trip to Tampa Bay? There are plenty of extra discounts for our Rays Baseball fans at TradeWinds Island Resorts with their Tampa Bay Rays hotel package, it’s easier than ever to plan your own tropical escape just minutes from Tropicana Field. You can go get out there with the outdoorsman vibe of the RumFish Beach Resort or splash into action at the Island Grand properties. Knock your next Raycation out of the park with 10% off of best available rates on suites and resort rooms.
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