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Tampa Bay Rays Games
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team located in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area of the gulf coast. Since being established in 1998, they have competed in the American League (AL) East Division. For more information about this team, keep reading.
When MLB expanded in the 1960s, some people, such as publisher Jack Lake, suggested a team in St. Petersburg. An influential journalist, Lake’s recommendation was seriously considered, but it was followed by numerous unsuccessful attempts to scout a team. It was not until a professional-grade baseball field was built that teams seriously considered making the move.
The venue that kicked St. Petersburg into the spotlight is Florida Suncoast Dome, which opened in 1990. The field name was later changed to ThunderDome (1993-1996), before becoming Tropicana Field. Although it is one of the smaller MLB fields by seat capacity, the indoor venue has a number of unique design features and amenities. Soon after construction, expansion teams took interest in the city. Due to conflicting bids and reluctance from other cities to let go of their teams, it took a couple years for an MLB-approved franchise to be granted to St. Petersburg, but finally, the Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix made their way to the bay.
Since the team arrived, a number of changes have been made. Originally called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, in 2008, it was shortened to Tampa Bay Rays. In addition, Tropicana Field has had over $70 million in renovations. The team has experienced some successes, such as an AL Pennant (2008), East Division titles (2008, 2010), and Wild Card Berths (2011, 2013, 2019). However, they are still fighting for a World Series to their name.
Those who follow the Tampa Bay Rays will know of their rivalries with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Although they may seem like unlikely rivals, these AL East competitors have a number of conflicts. For the Red Sox, it started when a Tampa Bay Rays player was hit by a pitch; but over the years, a number of brawls and verbal arguments have taken place. The Yankees became a rival largely because they have their Spring training in Tampa, and they have a minor league team in the area, the Tampa Tarpons. These factors divide local loyalty, which adds to the rivalry. To watch these heated games and see if the Tampa Bay Rays make it to the World Series, see the team in action.