ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The party at Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill began well before the first pitch across the street at Tropicana Field and the Opening Day celebration kept going after the final out from the Rays 2-1 win.
“It was like a circus earlier,” Ferg’s owner Mark Ferguson said. “Everybody eating and drinking and after the game we have a concert.”
Ferguson told News Channel 8 he has high hopes for the two-time defending American League East champions.
“We have all the hope in the world to go to the World Series this year,” he said.
During the offseason, Rays fans learned Major League Baseball rejected the proposal by ownership to split Rays home games between Tampa Bay and Montreal. Now, the clock is ticking toward 2027 when the Rays lease with Tropicana Field runs out.
“Personal opinion, I think the stadium should be over in the 813,” Rays fan Zach Brewer said.
Ferguson is making the pitch to keep the Rays’ ballpark in his backyard.
“We have the land, we have the highways, we have the infrastructure, everything’s here,” Ferguson said. “Let’s just get it done and plan on it being right here forever.”
It was a special afternoon for Seminole’s Joey Krehbiel. The pitcher made his first Opening Day roster for the Rays opponent, the Baltimore Orioles.
He wore custom cleats designed by Eckerd College student Abby O’Donnell.
“He just basically wanted just something really simple,” she said, “that kind of that just went along with the Orioles logo.”
The next pair of cleats she puts together could be for Rays outfield Brett Phillips, who also played baseball at Seminole High School.
“Joey actually told me this morning he has a friend Brett that plays for the Rays is gonna reach out because he wants some shoes as well,” she said.
The Rays played their 16th consecutive home opener, except for 202 because of the coronavirus pandemic, in front of a sell-out crowd at Tropicana Field.