ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Baseball is finally back and opening day for the 2022 season is on Friday.
The Tampa Bay Rays said this season is all about bring back the fan experience. All the things we had taken for granted is coming back for opening day without COVID restrictions.
“Just a couple years ago, we played 60 games in front of cardboard cut outs, so we’ve come along way,” said Bill Walsh, Rays Chief Business Officer. “Last year, we brought fans back to Tropicana Field, but things were still different we were mass we were socially distancing. This year were really bringing back the fun.
The organization has installed a new digital audio system, expanded the dugouts and is introducing the chalk box seating with 66 seats down the first base line. It’s also bringing back kids run the bases on Sundays.
The Rays have had success on the field.
“We’re coming off our third consecutive postseason appearance,” said Walsh. “We made the World Series for the second time in franchise history just a couple years ago. We won the American East last year and these are a huge accomplishments in what is arguably one of the most difficult and competitive divisions of all sports.”
The organization is launching a new Rays Museum, located in the four left field alcoves on the concourse level. It’ll feature memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of the Tampa Bay Rays and Devil Rays as the franchise approaches its 25th anniversary season. The Museum is free to fans and is available when gates open until the end of the 5th inning.
Rays fans will now have new food and beverage options at Tropicana Field, according to an announcement by the Tampa Bay Rays.
The dining options include:
- Hunger + Thirst (Ballpark & Rec)
- Pacific Counter
- Beans & Barlour
- Beachside Hospitality Group (Crabby’s Beachside Bites)
- Mister Softee
- Dippin’ Dots
- Kahwa Coffee
- Coppertail Brewing Co.
- Fresh Vine Wine
- Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.
Coca-Cola Refresh stands will also be back in service, where visitors can by a reusable cup.
The following stands also are adding new menu options, such as:
- Modern Bird (Budweiser Porch)
- Korean Spiced Chicken Sandwich
- Chicken Queso Dip
- Pig & Potato (Budweiser Porch)
- P&P Pierogi
- Foot-Long Tater Tot
- Beach Drive (Third Base Food Hall)
- Jerk Chicken Sandwich
- Steel Drum
- Caribbean Bowl
Fans will also be able to make mobile orders on the MLB Ballpark app to reduce wait times for their food.