A couple of thousand tickets remain for next Tuesday's opener (Apr. 6) against Baltimore. Tickets are available at all regular Rays outlets including raysbaseball.com and raysbeisbol.com, the Tropicana Field Box Office, the Rays Tampa Office located at 400 N. Tampa St., all Ticketmaster outlets and via Ticketmaster phone charge at (727) 898-RAYS and (813) 282-RAYS, or by calling 1-800-FAN-RAYS.
PARKING - For the fifth consecutive year, the Rays will continue to provide carpoolers access to free parking in team-controlled lots. Vehicles with four or more passengers will continue to park free for all five Bronze games (April 29, May 17, June 9, July 8 and August 2) and all Sunday games. For all other games, the first 100 cars with four or more will park for free up to an hour before game time, with other main lot Tropicana Field parking rates ranging from $10 to $20 per vehicle.
GATES OPEN - Tropicana Field gates will open Tuesday at 4 p.m. and parking lots at 2 p.m. for those wishing to start their tailgating early. During the remainder of the season, gates will open two hours before game time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday home games and 1 1/2 hours Monday through Thursday. Tropicana Field parking lots open two hours before gate openings.
PLAYERS AT GATES - Rays players will greet fans for the first few minutes when the gates open at 4 p.m. at the opener on April 6.
FLAG PRESENTATION - A 300'-by-150' flag will be unfurled in the outfield by volunteer service men and women from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg and the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base.
CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH - Admiral Eric Thor Olson, the eighth and current Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He previously served as Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command from 2004 to July 2007. Olson is the first Navy SEAL ever to be appointed to the grade of a three-star and four-star admiral as well as the first naval officer to be USSOCOM's combatant commander. He assumed his current assignment on July 9, 2007. His awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and Silver Star.
NATIONAL ANTHEM - The Tampa-based Gulf Coast Children's Choir, consisting of 44 local boys and girls from third to eighth grade, will perform the national anthem. The Gulf Coast Youth Choirs, Inc. is a not-for-profit choral arts organization for young people dedicated to excellence in the performance of choral music and to the creation of an environment which fosters musical development
FOR THE FRIDGE - All fans attending the home opener will receive a 2010 schedule magnet courtesy of Tropicana.
MORE FREE STUFF DURING OPENING WEEK - Earlier this month, the Business of Sports Network named the Rays as having major league baseball's best series of promotions for the 2010 season based on 'pure originality.' During the season-opening homestand, the Rays have a giveaway planned for 5 of the 6 dates:
Tues., April 6 vs. BAL 2010 Schedule Magnet Tropicana all fans
Wed., April 7 vs. BAL Joe Maddon Glasses Match Up Promotions first 10,000 fans
Thurs., April 8 vs. BAL Super Cowbell Chick-fil-A first 10,000 fans
Fri., April 9 vs. NYY Rays Alternate Jersey T-shirt St. Petersburg Times first 10,000 fans
Sun., April 11 vs. NYY Rafael Soriano Youth Alternate Jersey T-shirt Majestic first 10,000 kids 14 & under
WELCOME HOME LUNCHEON - Rays Manager Joe Maddon, outfielder Gabe Kapler and pitcher J.P. Howell will attend the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Welcome Home Luncheon on Thursday, April 8 at 11:45 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa. Tickets are available through the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce at www.tampachamber.com.
NEW FOR 2010
· NEW MENU OPTIONS - The menu for Fresco Fish Taco includes soft-shell tacos stuffed with seasoned and grilled fresh mahi-mahi topped with a tangy cabbage slaw, warm tortilla chips, a choice of tropical pineapple salsa or salsa fresca creamy queso dip and a selection of drinks including Presidente beer. Ti Dave's Po' Boys offers a taste of New Orleans to Rays fans with two Cajun po' boy sandwiches: grilled fresh shrimp or artisanal andouille. Each sandwich is smothered with crunchy slaw, sweet peppers, and a zesty Creole mustard all sandwiched in a fresh French baguette. Also available are Dave's famous Cajun Fries, served extra crispy and topped with a secret blend of seasonings; and Louisiana's Abita beer.
· WINE - Wine bars will be positioned on the first and third base sides of the concourse will offer customers the opportunity taste a variety of wines from exceptional values to the newest selections from around the world. The selection of wines will rotate throughout the season and will be priced at $9-$11 per glass.
· FRIDAY FESTS - At all Friday home games, themed this season as Friday Fests, the first 10,000 fans will receive a collectible T-shirt presented by tbt*. Friday Fests will also include postgame fireworks, drink and food specials, special prize giveaways, postgame parties and much more.
· NEW BALLPARK VOICE - The Rays will introduce a new public address announcer this season. He is Greg Kalil from Seminole. Greg has nearly 20 years of on-air radio experience and since 1996 has filled in as the PA voice at Al Lang Field for both Rays spring games and St. Petersburg Devil Rays minor league games.