Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Home of the Tampa Bay Rays
Tropicana Field opened in 1990, then called the Suncoast Dome. Poor timing, as it turned out.
The area had been angling for a baseball team for some time, and built the Suncoast Dome against the advice of Major League Baseball. They unsuccessfully wooed the Giants and White Sox, whose owners used the new stadium in St. Petersburg as leverage to get ballparks in their own cities.
Then in 1992, Camden Yards opened in Baltimore, spawning a wave of sports facility construction that continues to this day—with the trend towards open-air, natural grass, retro-style ballparks in the tradition of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.
By the time the Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first game in 1998 after finally being awarded an expansion franchise, the big white dome seemed far inferior as a venue than when it opened. And with a 30-year lease on the team, it’s been a struggle to convince taxpayers to build a new ballpark in the Tampa Bay area (as it should be).
But anyone who dislikes watching baseball indoors probably doesn’t live in Florida in the summer months, when oppressive humidity and frequent and harrowing thunderstorms become commonplace and make an outdoor sporting event a not-so-attractive option for a night out.
Sure, it’s indoors and they play on artificial turf. That’s not how baseball is meant to be enjoyed. It’s also air-conditioned and protected from the elements, and baseball on carpet is better than no baseball at all.
Besides, the Rays, after dropping the “Devil” from their name in 2008, have managed to put some pretty darn good teams on that carpet. Following the American League championship in 2008, the team won the AL East in 2010, and took the wild card to the playoffs in a most thrilling fashion in 2011, edging a Red Sox team that was supposed to win the next ten World Series.
So get to a game at the Trop. You’ll like the air-conditioning on a hot day, and the team is exciting to watch too.
And of course, Ballpark E-Guides is here to help in St. Petersburg!
Get Rays Tickets: here is why I recommend SeatGeek for third party sellers…
Tropicana Field Seating: Next we have some Tropicana Field Seating tips, from my own personal observations visiting the big white dome…
More Tropicana Field Seating: The tbt* Party Deck in left field is a unique spot. I think it's pretty cool.
Getting There: Of course, I’m providing the scoop on how to get free parking at Tropicana Field…although it’s not much of a secret...
Tropicana Field Food: Here is a general lowdown on what to eat at Tropicana Field...lots to choose from here.
More Tropicana Field Food: And while the Kayem Rays dogs are tasty, they’re not the go-to item for everyone…check out my Trop food tips…
Extras: As always, I have three “Don’t Miss It”s at the Trop…
Tropicana Field Photos: Finally got around to adding some images of Tropicana Field, hope you like them.
It's Not All Bad: Tropicana Field isn't usually high on the list of favorite ballparks, but it's definitely got some cool things going for it. Here are some props for the Trop.
Why Don't The Rays Draw? The Rays have made the playoffs three of the last four seasons, but still have among the lowest attendance in baseball. Here I speculate on why.
Coming to visit St. Petersburg? Here is why I use Hotwire and where I stay when visiting a ballpark in another city…
Hope you find this info helpful…if you’d like to know more, check out the amazing Tropicana Field E-Guide! The Tropicana Field E-Guide gives you the skinny on just about everything you need to know—how to get tickets, where to sit, how to get to the Trop and all of the food options, with Tightwad Tips to help save money on all of it! All for just $8.99 for the print AND digital edition...want to know more? Click here!