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Capacity: 45,200
Tropicana Field

 

Area of fair territory: 105,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Fairly small

 

Fences: 9 feet

Elevation: 15 feet

 

2002 TICKETING
Home Plate Boxes $195
Field Box $75
Lower Club Box $40
Diamond Club Box $35
Lower Box $25
Terrace Box $19
Outfield $14
Upper Reserved $10
The Beach $5, 2
Southwest Airlines Freedom Fan Fare $5, 2
General Information

Address:
Tropicana Field
One Tropicana Drive
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Tickets: 1-888-FAN-RAYS

Tenant: Tampa Bay Devil Rays (AL)
Opened: March 3, 1990
First Devil Rays game: March 31, 1998
Style: Dome
Surface: Fieldturf with dirt infield (2000-present); Astroturf with dirt infield (1998-1999)
Capacity: 45,000

Architects: HOK Sport (Kansas City); Lescher & Mahoney Sports (Tampa); Criswell, Blizzard & Blouin Architects (St. Petersburg)
Construction: Huber, Hunt & Nichols (Indianapolis)
Owner: City of St. Petersburg
Cost: $138 million (1990); renovation $70 million (1998)

Tropicana Fields

 

 

History

 

    First, note that this ballpark is not located in Tampa Bay, Florida - rather, it is in St. Petersburg, where the taxpayers who footed the bill for the stadium are justifiably unhappy that they didn't get their town's name on the facility.  Tropicana Field was originally named the Florida Suncoast Dome in 1990, and then renamed the Thunderdome in 1993.  Finally, it was named Tropicana Field in 1996, in accordance with a naming rights agreement between the Devil Rays and Tropicana Dole Beverages North America.

   Now that that's out of the way, here's the history: for years, the Tampa Bay-St. Pete area was a favorite for spring training. But getting a Major League Baseball team wasn't easy - the city of St. Petersburg went so far as to build a domed stadium, against the advice of MLB, to lure a major league team, and almost lured the White Sox, but when the people of Chicago voted to build them a new ballpark in 1989, the Sox stayed put.  In 1992, a group of Tampa Bay investors announced at a press conference that the Giants were moving to Tampa Bay, but loopholes in the agreement allowed a local consortium to keep the team from leaving San Francisco.  Several other teams expressed interest in relocating to St. Petersburg, but to no avail; finally, on March 9,1995, MLB granted Tampa Bay a franchise, and the ballpark in St. Petersburg finally found a tenant.

   Tropicana Field closed in October of 1996 for a 17-month, $85 million renovation that included adding 319,000 square feet of space.

Tropicana Field Firsts:
Game - March 31, 1998 vs. Detroit
Pitch - Wilson Alvarez
Batter - Brian Hunter
Hit - Tony Clark
Double - Joe Randa
Triple - Kevin Stocker
Home run - Luis Gonzalez
Grand slam - Johnny Damon
Stolen base - Quinton McCracken/Miguel Cairo (Double steal)
Victory - Justin Thompson
Complete game - Brad Radke
Save - Roberto Hernandez
Error- Rolando Arrojo

Analysis

 

    This is not a great stadium.  It is an all-purpose facility: the stadium has hosted hockey, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, weightlifting, ping pong, karate, gymnastics, figure skating, 5-K runs, equestrian events, motorcycling, sprint car, monster truck and mud bog racing.  (the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL played here from 1993 to 1996, hence the name "ThunderDome.")  Let me explain:

 

1) It is the first Major League park in more than 20 years to feature Astroturf and all-dirt base paths, which creates a tough infield to play on with uneven hops.

 

2) The roof is too low.  The stadium has a non-retractable roof (it was completed in 1990, just as the SkyDome was demonstrating the feasibility of a retractable dome), and although it reaches a peak height of 225 feet over second base, it is only 85 feet over center field (it is slanted at a 6.5 degree angle).  In the first 10 games played here, both Frank Thomas and Jim Edmonds hit fly balls that hit the catwalk in center, alarming officials who thought the catwalks were out of reach of hitters.  (Edmonds' blast was ruled a ground rule double, robbing him of a certain home run).  A number of pop fly balls have hit the roof over the infield, shattering lights above and raining glass everywhere.

 

3) The non-retractable dome is a problem for fans who like sunshine.

 

   Other than these and other aesthetic problems, Tropicana is a fairly tame stadium.  It's size is on the small side, the artificial turf lends predictability to the play, and the lack of wind or sun makes it easy on the fielders.

 

Defense: Tropicana Field replaced Astroturf with something called Fieldturf, which plays more like grass.  As a result, the ball doesn't hop quite so quickly along the infield - that cuts down on the need for infielders with range, but the infield configuration of all-dirt basepaths and an artificial turf infield caused a few grumbles and complaints, as well as more than its fair share of infield errors.  The outfield is large, and when the Devil Rays get some speedy outfielders they will do a better job of playing defense at home.  However, it is a standard configuration, and other than a few lost fly balls resulting from the off-white ceiling and stadium catwalks, outfielders are generally not pushed to the limit here.

 

 

1999

2000

2001

Error Index: 89 115 86
Infield-error Index: 96 124 88

 

Park Factors

 

  Run HR Avg L-Avg R-Avg L-HR R-HR H 2B 3B
1999 98 93 99 106 94 109 83 98 105 109
2000 100 106 97 91 102 106 106 99 109 117
2001 100 89 103 98 106 86 91 105 119 189

 

 

1999

2000

2001

Walks: 96 104 89
Strikeouts: 106 102 102

 

 

Location

St. Petersburg, FL.  Left field (N), Central Avenue; third base (W), 16th Street N; first base (S), Dunmore Avenue S; right field (E), 11th Street S.

Dimensions

Left field: 315 ft.

Left-center: 370 ft.

Center field: 404 ft.

Right-center: 370 ft.

Right field: 322 ft.

Backstop: 50 ft.

 

   The Trop is 13 percent larger from left field to dead center, than it is from right field to dead center.

 

Foul territory: Small/below average

 

 

Fun Facts

  • Highest double factor in AL in 2001
  • Second highest triples factor in AL in 2001
  • Third highest hit factor in AL in 2001
  • Lowest walk factor in AL in 2001

 

  • Grand entrance on the outfield side (east) of stadium features an Ebbets Field style rotunda (5-stories, 80 feet wide).
  • The roof of the dome is lit orange after a Devil Rays win.
  • White and coral stucco and green tinted, non-mirrored glass cover the outside walls of the stadium.
  • 100 high-backed upholstered "Scout Seats" located in the first few rows behind home plate feature individual monitors showing views from all stadium cameras, statistics and special concession menus.
  • "Beach at Tropicana Field" located in left field is a private concourse with palm trees and an outdoor patio.
  • A restaurant with seating for 350 people is located in center field "batter's eye dead zone". A special film hides patrons from a batter's view while allowing them to view the game.
  • The stadium has parking for nearly 7,000 cars, 465 wheelchair accessible seats, 7 escalators and 23 elevators.

 

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