In one of the first articles I ever wrote for The Indian, I ranked the best and worst sporting venues I have attended. At the top of that list was Tropicana Field. Also known as “the Trop,” the stadium is located in St. Petersburg, Florida, about 15 minutes from the city of Tampa. It is the home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. My first visit to the Trop was in April 2015 to see the Rays take on the New York Yankees. My experience and the atmosphere at the game was unbelievable. It became my favorite place to watch my favorite sport, baseball.
Now this April came along and I found myself back at the Trop to see the Rays take on the Chicago White Sox. Going into the game, I believed that it couldn’t match the incredible experience I’d already had there. I was wrong. Tropicana Field was more energetic and better than ever. There’s nowhere else where you can watch a professional baseball game completely indoors and sit just about anywhere you want for $20. The lack of Rays faithful allows for an easier commute to the game as well as a more comfortable time while there. (At Fenway, it can sometimes seem that the stranger sitting next to you is a bit too close.)
The Rays, who started the season 8-10, have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, resulting in weak roster that shouldn’t make much noise this season. But in the game I attended, the Rays defeated the White Sox 7-2 and played very well. From the Ray tank in centerfield to the big white roof over your head, there is truly no place like the Trop.