Rays watch parties helping businesses during pandemic

Fans watching Game 5 of the World Series at the Sail Pavilion Sunday night were helping re-stimulate the economy, slowly but surely, according to the city's convention center and tourism director Una Garvey.

 "It's a win for the community, it's a win for the Rays because now they're getting to increase their fan base, and of course it's a win for the city as we continue to make more money," Garvey said.  "We have core team here that has been here and they're just really grateful to be able to come back and work and see the community and see their returning guests that have been patrons of our sail since ever since it opened."

Rays fans say they're happy to not just be in a fun sports environment but also have the opportunity to help out local businesses.

"Especially after a pandemic, businesses struggled, now people are encouraged to come out and spend an see a team who hasn't been here since 2008," said Raul Garcia, a Rays fan.

The watch party area at the Sail Pavilion can safely seat up to nearly 200 people. Garvey says there were more fans during the Stanley Cup Final watch parties, but the World Series watch party crowds are steadily growing, and helping to grow the team's fan base in Tampa.