We sometimes play a little game of, “If you could describe _____ in one word, what would it be?” Well, much like the word for the old Braves stadium in Atlanta was “dirty” the word for the Rays stadium would be “quiet.”
I’m not sure if it was because of its dome design (instead of open-air, like our home team of the Phillies), or if it’s because it was relatively dead in terms of attendance when we went, or, -maybe the least likely- the population of older people in Florida doesn’t yell as much, but the stadium was decidedly quiet. I found myself conscious of how loud my kids were being, something that I usually don’t think of at a ball game. That was the lowlight of this ballpark, with everything else ranking higher.
Here’s a fun fact: the Tampa Bay Rays ballpark,Tropicana Field, is actually not in downtown Tampa, but quieter (and closer to the beach) St. Petersburg. Since we started with the lowlight, the highlight of Tropicana Field was the Sting Ray Tank. About the 4th inning, we all took a walk and visited the Touch Tank in right/center field. It’s a really cool addition, that would be out of place in some other venues, but totally makes sense in Florida. The boys were able to buy some sort of little fish to feed the sting rays and then learned from the staff how to feed and touch the sting rays. Before the first pitch there was a line to get in, but by the time we walked over mid-way through the game, we got right in.
Here you can see my older one with his hand touching the sting ray! Fun for kids and adults!
The rest of the ballpark was on par with others we’ve visited- we didn’t eat much on this trip, as you can bring in food (which we did courtesy of my grandmother). The staff was friendly and chatted with the boys as we got our passport stamp.
Our tip for seats (regardless of where you are) is that the proximity to the field, the price of the tickets, and your child’s attention span are all correlated. In other venues we have saved money and sat further from the action- but paid the price with wiggly bodies. If you can afford it, buy good seats that will put your kids closer to the play and more engaged. You will ALL have a better time!