ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Rays welcomed a sellout crowd to their home opener against the New York Yankees on Friday afternoon.
The organization is only allowing a limited number of fans to visit Tropicana Field, so a “sellout crowd” comes with a clarification. Regardless, the fans in the stands, approximately 9,000 of them, could not have been happier to be there.
I spoke to a handful of them as they stood in line outside of the park and they shared the same feelings summarized in one word: “finally.”
Finally, these fans watch their team without having to utilize a screen.
The festivities ahead of the start of the game added to the atmosphere. The team revealed their two championship banners from the previous season.
“It is going to be a special moment anytime you win a division and you are representing the American League,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said before the game. “For the guys who were here last year, hopefully, it is a moment they can reflect on, appreciate it and, then, get ready to play a game.”