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TROPICANA FIELD FAN REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Submitted By: Ethan Marshall Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: Perfect temperature every game, no rain delays, no sunburns, no heat stroke. Lots of great food options, TONS of parking, CHEAPEST ticket prices and parking in the entire MLB, plus you can bring your own bottled water inside the park. Plus the ballpark is conveniently located right off of I-275. There are some outstanding benefits for season ticket holders too. With Stubhub you can easily sell your extra seats so there's no need to worry about making every game. It's very easy to get autographs before and after the game as well.

Cons of the ballpark: I've been to every MLB ballpark in the country and can honestly say there are no major cons to this ballpark. A retractable roof stadium closer to Orlando would be the only thing I would change.

Additional Comments: The Trop's only major problem is that its fan base is made up of lazy Tampa residents. For some reason they cannot bring themselves to make the same 30 minute commute that most MLB fans have to make across the country. Try living 15 miles away from Fenway or Yankee Stadium and making it to your seat within 45 minutes. Can't be done. The Trop is great, it's fans are its only problem.

Submitted By: Steve D Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: Food is OK. If you get there early parking is easy. Ball park is small so you're fairly close to the action no matter where you are. Most ushers are friendly. Some are obnoxious. I tried to get a photo through the tunnel at the lower level during the game and the usher was a real hag. The rest were really friendly.
Cons of the ballpark: Let's face it, the humidity down there is unbearable. I realize a dome takes away the game experience, but it is needed in Florida. No bullpen looks weird.
Additional Comments: I'll go back if I'm ever in the area again.

 Submitted By: Brian P. Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: 1st, I like the dome because who wants to sweat to death for 3 hours. It is the most fan friendly stadium I've ever been to. Do you see the Rays girls dancing ontop the dugout. All air condition inside, now they have rooms you can go in sit down & chill, play video games for free, lots of concessions, there are 3 gift shops, not 1. I love the rays tank, what ballpark has live stingrays inside, & every time they win the top of the dome is lit up orange.
Cons of the ballpark: I love the inside of the ballpark, but the outside looks like a huge water tank, an ugly one at that. I'm a Rays fan also, but like someone else said, this team plays 30 miles from Tampa in St. Petersburg, a beach community, not a city like Tampa...the location sucks cause it takes over an hour to get there, especially with traffic from Tampa crossing the Bay. The stadium needs to be built in TAMPA, not a beach community, right next to Raymond James or Downtown Tampa, which by 2009 40+ thousand are living just in downtown alone, Tampa has gotten alot bigger in the last 5 years.
Additional Comments: Go Rays 2008

 Submitted By: Zach A. Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: This is the coolest stadium I have ever been to. Pros=Tons of parking, lots of available seating (lower deck), No rain delays, Cheap tickets.
Cons of the ballpark: Very expensive gift shop. 30$ for a bobble head, only one gift place in the whole stadium, the upper deck is closed off because they can't even sell enough tickets to sell out the lower deck, concrete walls, terrible atmosphere.
Additional Comments: Even though I listed alot of cons, this is still a fun place to watch a game. When the Rays hit a homerun, they have flashing lights and sirens that go off. And when the game is over, they have orange lights that shine on the canvas on top of the dome. When you go outside and look at it (night game), it looks like a huge orange. There are only two all indoor stadiums, and this is the best one. Before you know it, there will be none. Because the Twins are getting a new outdoor park, and the Devil rays will probably move to a different city because of ticket sales. And also. I'm not a fan of TB, Im an O's fan. I just love this park! :)

 Submitted By: David Magliano Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: Someone who once lived in Arizona told me that 95 degrees in Arizona is nothing compared to 85 degrees in Tampa. Its no lie. The 95% humidity, with heat indexes in the 100s requires a baseball stadium to have a roof, and it is a comfortable place to watch a game. The turf does look like real grass (it even feels like real grass) and there are no bad seats. The food is better than most ball parks i've been to (about 20 different ones)
Cons of the ballpark: It is a dome, which doesn't have the same ambiance as an outdoor stadium. It feels small once your inside, and the walls are plain. The worst part for locals is that the dome is in St. Pete, not Tampa. Tampa Bay is a spread out area, and certain large areas have to drive an hour or more to get to the stadium. If the stadium was next to wear the Bucs play, or in downtown Tampa on the water where the lightning play, no one would be more than 30 to 45 min away.
Additional Comments: Downtown Tampa is going through many renovations and upgrades, adding shops restaurants, a new art museum, and movie theaters, right by The Ice Palace (hockey arena.) A new, modern ballpark would be nice to see one day.

 Submitted By: Richard Grade: D
Pros of the ballpark: Good weather. If you ever spend an afternoon in tampa, you would know that sudden thunderstorms pop up every afternoon around here... so i hate to say this, but a dome in tampa is the best option. Being said, the dome is as baseball friendly as you can get, with no upper deck outfield, good bleachers (the beach area), and no ridiculously high upper deck or million luxury boxes like miller park, Jacobs field or Arlington (although those ballparks are overall better). anyways... it is very comfortable, although you do not get that nostalgic baseball feeling like you would in an old, outdoors' ballpark.
Cons of the ballpark: I am a true devil rays fan (i am used to the losing... I was also a buccaneer's fan for all those lovely losing seasons in the 80s and 90s). Although I see a young, exciting team on the field right now, the fans are way too quiet and too few. The market is definitely here, so I can't wait until the rays start winning and kicking out all of those yucky yankee and red sox fans who come down here and out-cheer the home team (it is truly sickening to watch). besides the atmosphere and empty seats, the place needs to be decorated a little more and not leave so many big, empty grey walls around. besides that, in the end it is a dome.
Additional Comments: Although it is no fenway or wrigley, once a good team comes and the fans show up, it will be a fun place to watch a game.

 Submitted By: Mike McDow Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: Parking is right there at the stadium so there are no 30 minute drives looking for a spot in a downtown location or a 30 minute walk from a parking garage. The sightlines are great and the centerfield concessions area is great...wish part of it could be extended around the rest of the park...seems the outfield is the place to be in this place. The roof...which is needed because of the 1hr rain showers that pop up every afternoon in the  summer and some of the ugliest storms you've ever experienced coming off of the Gulf. The roof is also translucent so it makes for a bright atmosphere and makes for as much of an outdoor feel as you can have in a dome.
Cons of the ballpark: The team store is too small and the ugly grey walls need to be decorated with a more baseball feel rather than just covering them in billboards.
Though I like the parking being close it would be nice to have more landscaping on the exterior like that of the palm lined walk leading to the rotunda.
Additional Comments: Being from St Petersburg I love the vacation feel the experience gives me at the ballpark, but I would like a little more of a baseball feel added to it. It's a great experience when there are fans in the seats and now that the team looks to be competitive it will be even better!

 Submitted By: Graham Weeks Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: It has nice wide walkways, The Rotunda is a nice touch, plus like everyone else has said a dome would be the only way to go with the weather, plus it also stays cool on hot days or nights, so it's very comfortable, and there we're no bad seats to be found, every seat looked like you could see anything that could happen and if you are sitting towards the wall underneath the second level, they have TV's just in case, also the food is good and there is a lot to choose from, they even have an Outback Steakhouse Booth.
Cons of the ballpark: The walls we're way too plain, they need to paint them or something, maybe have an outfield scoreboard like the Astrodome used to have with all the effects and such, also for some reason the field looks smaller than other Stadiums I've been to, probably because it's a dome.
Additional Comments: I call it the Ripley's Believe it or not Dome, because it looks from the outside like part of the building sunk into the ground, The Ripley's in Orlando is built the same way, but overall it's a nice stadium and Recommend you go to a game.

 Submitted By: Tim Creek Grade: F
Pros of the ballpark: It had modern restroom and concessions.  The seats all had good views and were comfortable.
Cons of the ballpark: It is a dome.  Baseball is not supposed to be played in a dome.  The place is ugly, inside and out.  It sits in the middle of a huge parking lot too.  I hate parks in the middle of parking lots.  The walls surrounding the field are plain gray concrete.  The atmosphere sucks.  This may be partly because none supports the team.  Also, there is ONE souvenir store in the entire stadium!!  It is the smallest one I've ever seen too, and that's comparing it too stadiums with countless souvenir stores.  The upper deck is never even opened since they don't sell enough tickets to need it.  The seating area in left field called "The Beach" is corny, ugly, and has no place in a major league stadium.  They play on Astroturf, but it is in good shape compared to most other stadiums with artificial turf, but the stadium is not used for foot ball.
Additional Comments: This stadium is terrible.  Anyone who says they like has never been to a real baseball stadium.  Why was this ever even built, I cannot see any part of this stadium as being a good idea.  There are no fans.  The Devil Rays should get a new stadium as soon as possible.  An outside stadium with a better atmosphere.

 Submitted By: Patrick Kennedy Grade: D
Pros of the ballpark: For as much as I hate the look of a dome, it sure keeps you cool  and dry. Plenty of food stands without much of a line. Good rotunda & walkway, cheap parking (some free), and good sightlines (if you know where to sit.) Plus the designs on the outfield walls are cool.
Cons of the ballpark: For all of it's rewards, it's still a dome. Upper Deck Outfield seats are awful. Since this is a bandwagon area (see crowds at Tampa Stadium in the 80s for Bucs games), the Rays do not attract a crowd, although some encouraging spikes have been made recently. The main thing that I gripe about though is the cheapness of the stadium's construction. Lighting patterns that don't make any list of reasonable explanations, unfinished tiles on concourses, slanted roof, ugly back walls (starting to paint them though), and catwalks blocking views of scoreboards and some seats.
Additional Comments: Being a die hard Rays fan (not one word), I go to most all Sunday home games, plus a few on the side, I know the Trop very well. If you do know it well, you are fine. Be that as it may, I would like to point out a few incorrect statements by tourists who make one visit and don't know what the hell they are talking about. First, whoever said The Beach is an awful setting section is a dingbat. $1 draft beers on college night (Fridays), $5  ticket with complete view of field (plus, when the Yanks come to town you can drop your beer cups, peanuts, family (that's right), and other non essentials onto the unsuspecting herd of evil Yankee fans below. Second, there are at least 3 gift shops pertaining to the Rays inside the Trop, one two story at the main entrance, and two smaller ones on either baseline concourse, plus a cap shop on the third base concourse. One final note, if you plan on visiting the Trop, you should sit in one of the following three places. Section 300 in the upper deck behind home plate, The Beach, or Section 142 in right field (passionate hecklers.)

 Submitted By: Stephen Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: It's a dome so the heat is not a problem - something that can be a huge drag in Florida in July and August. No rain outs - except for the odd early hurricane. GREAT places to eat. Everything from Outback Steakhouse to Hooters to Checkers! Cheap $5 seats in the "Beach."
Cons of the ballpark: No outside ballpark feeling that you get in  open air park. Lots of concrete (they try to make it bright at least). Expensive close parking. Team that try's but falls short.
Additional Comments: Probably the best part about this park is the food. They have everything from Outback steakhouse and their blooming onions to Hooters. It may be a dome, but that is not an all bad thing. I mean, you get out of the heat and rain. People in the USA bash domes, but in other countries like Japan half of the league plays in a dome. If and when the team improves we will have a great thing going here (Tampa people are very fair weather fans) until then the empty sea of blue seats is a little disheartening to be around....but that will change in a few years as this young team ages in the majors.

 Submitted By: Ronald Theriot Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: The sightlines are excellent.  The ticket prices are nice ($5.00 behind home plate in the upper deck, which isn't very high), the place is in very good condition, and it's easy to get to.  The few fans they have are very vocal and enthusiastic.  The dome is a life-saver, what with the heat, humidity, and rain.  I was able to go to my first game there (2004)because the dome made the showers outside inmaterial.
Cons of the ballpark: Hmmm, anything to complain about?  Yeah, these people in Tampa/St. Pete area should SUPPORT their TEAM!  $5.00 a ticket?  I'd go to every game if I lived out there.
Additional Comments: If you've never been to Tropicana Field, go!  Don't let ridiculous criticisms keep you away.  This is a fine place to catch a game.

 Submitted By: Bob K. Grade: D
Pros of the ballpark: It's fairly comfortable, and some of the visiting teams are worth watching.  Lots of food choices.
Cons of the ballpark: The Devil Rays aren't a serious MLB team, and have never had a .500 season.  Management seems content to sell expensive tickets to Red Sox and Yankees fans (almost 1/4 of their home games), and let the place sit empty the rest of the time. Tickets are overpriced for "premium" games.  If you're there to see the Red Sox or Yankees, they seem pretty reasonable.  Unfortunately, this means that mostly Yankees and Red Sox fans show up. Seating is relatively far from the field, due to low slope and large foul territory.  Constant vendor and spectator traffic in the box sections can be extremely distracting, especially if you're in an aisle seat.  By contrast, the Marlins do a reasonable job of limiting aisle traffic during at-bats; the DRays must think concession sales are more important.  On the first base side, seat numbers 1-2 have an aisle between you and home plate, I'd recommend looking for a higher seat number, regardless of the row.  I'm not sure how they're numbered on the third base side.
Additional Comments: It's the only domed stadium I've ever visited, so I enjoy it for the novelty.  It's obvious that retractable roofs are the way to go in Florida; the Marlins have their problems with thunderstorms, but part of what makes Florida Florida are the balmy nights, and a full dome kills one of the best reasons to go out to the ballpark. The layout, especially in the outfield concourse, reminds you of being in a mall.  Overall, it's fairly comfortable and convenient.  The many food choices mean that you could rationalize going to a Rays game as "a pleasant night out at the ballpark," except that it doesn't feel like a ballpark.  It feels like a mall that just happens to have the game showing on a VERY good TV. I've been to a dozen or so ballparks, but the Trop stands out as one where management seems almost contemptuous of their home fans.  NY/Boston prices for a perennially dismal team.  I enjoy is as a visitor a couple times a year.  But DRays fans are being ripped off.

 

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