The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the newest teams in Major League Baseball, playing its inaugural season in 1998. The main attraction of that inaugural team was 40-year old Wade Boggs. A surefire future Hall of Famer, Boggs had already played 16 seasons for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees before joining the Devil Rays, accumulating 12 All-Star Game appearances, seven Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Gloves. The first 10 seasons of Tampa Bay baseball were a struggle. The team finished last in the American League East nine times in 10 years and never won more than 70 games in a season—losing more than 100 three times. The fortunes of the franchise were reversed when the team dropped the “Devil” from their team name and went to simply the Rays. In 2008, the first season as the Rays, Tampa Bay rode Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and a young, talented starting rotation to the franchise’s first postseason appearance. Those Rays would make it all the way to the World Series before falling to the Philadelphia Phillies. Since that season the Rays have been a consistent threat in the American League. Tampa Bay has retired just Boggs’ No. 12 thus far. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Tampa Bay Rays Baseball tickets.
2016 Rays Season Preview
After 6 seasons of finishing with a winning record, the Tampa Bay Rays failed to finish the season above .500 in 2014. The result led to a fire sale in the Rays organization and saw longtime manager Joe Maddon depart and Kevin Cash brought in to bring fresh life into Tampa Bay. Maddon wasn’t the only departure from the Tampa Bay Rays last season, as Matt Joyce, Jeremy Hellickson, and Wil Myers are all playing for new teams in 2015.
With their departures, brings new opportunity within the Rays organization for 2015. Returning is superstar Evan Longoria, and 2015 will see Rene Rivera and Drew Smyly receive larger roles. If any team in the AL East has been able to do more with less, it has been the Tampa Bay Rays and they have made it a point of succeeding when everyone else counted them out. Look for the Rays to be competitive in a tough division in 2015.
Check out our Tampa Bay Rays Season Preview History page for previews of previous Rays seasons.
Tampa Bay Rays Baseball at Tropicana Field Address: 1 Tropicana Dr, St Petersburg, Florida, 33705
The Rays play their home games at Tropicana Field, located in St. Petersburg, Florida. When filled to capacity, “The Trop” can hold more than 34,000 screaming Rays fans. There are many amenities around the park for fans of all ages. The most unique is the Rays Touch Tank in the outfield; a giant tank that holds 30 cownose rays that fans can pet and feed during the game. The Tampa Bay Rays dugout is on the Tropica Field first baseline in front of sections 112-118. Tropicana Field parking information is covered in our Rays event guide.
Rays vs. Red Sox
This is one of the few rivalries can trace its roots back to a single moment. In 2000 when Gerald Williams charged Pedro Martinez the then Devil Rays became more than just an expansion team, they became a heated enemy of the Red Sox. Since that moment the Rays have had a meteoric rise to the top of the AL. Both teams are consistently in the race for the AL East and the American League Wild Card, and games between them are some of the most contentious in the AL.
Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, American League Championship Series and MLB Playoffs
As an expansion team, the Tampa Bay Rays went through their struggles when they entered the American League in 1998. After missing the playoffs for the first 10 seasons, the Rays earned their earned their first postseason berth in 2008 when the won the AL East. Tampa Bay has won multiple division titles and one AL pennant in their history.
Tampa Bay Rays Event Guide
What time do the gates open prior to a Rays game?
Monday through Thursday the gates open 90 minutes before the first pitch. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the doors open 2 hours before the first pitch.
Where are good places to eat before a Rays game?
There are a large variety of dining options near Tropicana Field. There are multiple great Italian food places in the area. Moscato’s Bella Cucina, Gratzzi’s Ristorante, and BellaBrava are three of the best. Mexican food fans should check out Red Mesa Cantina or Casita Taqueria. If you are looking to try something new, visit Nitallys Thai-Mex Cuisine. This unique fusion of Thai and Mexican is surprisingly good, and a great change of pace. Urban Brew and BBQ is one of the best barbeque joints in Florida and only a short distance from Tropicana. If you are looking for a sports bar check out Engine No.9 or Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill. Other great places in the area are Tour De Pizza, PoFolks, and Crowley’s Downtown.
Where is the best place to park at Tropicana Field?
There are plenty of good parking options nearby Tropicana Field. The area with the most available parking is immediately to the east of the stadium. Parking lots 6, 7, 8, and 9 are all on that side of the stadium, located all the way back to MLK. There are also some good parking options on the northwest side of the stadium. Lots 3, 4, and 5, are in this area, just south of 1st Avenue. If you are looking to save a little money and don’t mind walking try looking on the west side of 18th street. There are 4 parking lots in that area just north of 1st Avenue and are usually a little cheaper than the lots next to the stadium.
Does my child need a ticket to attend the game?
Children under the age of 2 years old are allowed to enter Tropicana Field without a ticket and must sit on a guardians lap for the duration of the game.