PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - After a historic run to the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays are preparing for a new season. It all starts with spring training, which will be different this year due to the pandemic.
The same goes for how fans can purchase tickets, which go on sale Friday morning. The team announced earlier this week that this time around, fans will be allowed in-person for most of the action.
Tickets for spring training home games are only available through the MLB Ballpark App, starting at 10 a.m. Paper tickets are not available to further cut down on contact at the venue.
COVID-19 safety means only 1,110 fans will be welcomed to the Port Charlotte Sports Park in socially-distant seating pods for two or four people. Parking in the main lot will be free this spring.
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Plans on how to arrange seating for the regular season at Tropicana Field are still being worked out.
"We’ve had great fans coming out for years and super passionate," explained Jeff Tanzer, vice president of ticket sales. "We are looking forward to having people come back out. The fact that we are coming off another winning season is only going to build the momentum."
Team spirit in Tampa Bay has – without much surprise – been at an all-time high after a Super Bowl win for the Bucs, the Lightning taking home the Stanley Cup, and the Rays themselves advancing to the 2020 World Series.
The last time the Rays played in front of their fans in Florida was last March before COVID-19 shut down spring training.
The Rays provided the following information on new safety protocols:
For the safety of those attending games, tickets will be available in socially distant seating pods in increments of two or four seats, and face masks will be required at all times except while actively eating or drinking in your seat.
To accommodate six or more feet of separation between pods, the capacity of Charlotte Sports Park will be limited for Spring Training. As a result, Season Tickets will not be available for 2021 Spring Training.
Length of Games
Per Major League Baseball’s 2021 guidelines and consistent across all of Spring Training, games from February 28–March 13 will be scheduled as seven-inning games, though they can be shortened to five innings or lengthened to nine innings upon mutual agreement of both managers.
Games from March 14-30 will be scheduled for nine innings, though managers can mutually decide to shorten to seven innings.
Tickets for all 2021 Rays Spring Training home games are exclusively available in the Ballpark app on a mobile device. Paper tickets, including print-at-home and PDF versions, are not available or accepted.
Information on using mobile tickets is available at RaysBaseball.com/Mobile.
In order to cut down on contact in the parking lots and to make entering as smooth as possible, parking will be complimentary in the Main Lot at Charlotte Sports Park for the 2021 Spring Training season.
For additional information on the safety measures at Charlotte Sports Park, head over to RaysBaseball.com/spring.