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Rays gearing up for fan-less home opener

Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Rays will take Tropicana Field Friday evening for their first game of the 2020 season, which is against the Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s the first major league game in Tampa Bay since professional sports were shut down in March due to the pandemic.

The game will look much different with empty stands as it will be played without fans.

“There’s a possibility that we have fans this year. A lot of it depends on the environment here and the virus, hopefully it’s slowing down. We’d like to welcome fans back. We’d like to do it in a safe and distant way and show that we can return to sports, you can return to life events, have a sense of normalcy and do it in a safe way. It’s something to consider in the coming weeks. But right now it’s about playing ball tonight and making sure we get off on the right foot,” said Rays President Matt Silverman.

The Rays are looking to get back to the playoffs this season. Silverman said players are taking various safety precautions to keep the spread of the Coronavirus at bay, and keep the season on track.

“The players are all policing themselves. We know the weakest link is the one that is going to affect your team. So they all banded together to make sure that they’re doing what they need to do. They’re socially distancing, they’re wearing their masks, they’re trying to limit their interactions with people outside of their teammates, and they’re going to keep this bubble intact so they can play baseball and hopefully get back to the playoffs,” Silverman said. “The bubble is working.”

First pitch is at 6:40 p.m.

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