Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, gets more than its share of criticism because it looks like a sombrero and harkens back to the day when most major league baseball stadiums had rooftops and artificial grass playing fields. An architectural masterpiece, it isn't. Wrigley Field, it isn't. Yankee Stadium, it isn't. But I've been to several games at the Trop and I must admit I don't have as many issues with the stadium as most critics apparently do. First of all, it is centrally located so fans can easily reach it from anywhere in St. Petersburg. Folks in Tampa can reach it easily on I-275. And fans across Tampa Bay in Bradenton and Sarasota and reach it by driving across the famed Sunshine Skyway on I-275. Secondly, the parking is wonderful, close, plentiful and inexpensive with easy access to the Interstate and a fast trip across the Sunshine Skyway to Sarasota. For one game against the Yankees, we bought $200 tickets to enjoy the amenities of the private club, including all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecues and roast beef and all-you-can-drink beer and soda. Watching an indoor game in air conditioning at the Trop is a lot better than being drenched by rain in Miami or Atlanta. We have always purchased seats close to the field with good sight lines. I've also noticed that the food venders are plentiful and very active at the Trop. The food is very good, better than I have experienced at most major league parks, including Wrigley Field. The problem with Tampa Bay Ray fans is there aren't many of them. Or at least they don't show up for the games. A seat in the upper deck in left field affords a great view of the field and the entire park.
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