It’s always amused me when fans say they don’t go to Tampa Bay Rays games because it costs too much. Other cities? Sure. A baseball game can be crazy expensive. But in St. Pete? Tickets start at $7.11 for those Friday night games. If you don’t want to pay for parking, you can park for free if you’re willing to walk a mile (which you’ll easily do anyway inside The Trop). There’s a spot under 275 that I’ve used without fail at every Rays game I’ve ever gone to. And yes, contrary to popular belief, you CAN bring your own food to Tropicana Field.
It’s not common in professional sports to be that flexible. The Rays have a well-known attendance problem and letting you bring your own food in is something the team does to remove one more obstacle (or excuse) for not buying a ticket.
So what food can you bring in?
According to the official Rays web site, fans can bring “personal quantities” of food into The Trop. So, in other words, don’t bring your everything on your weekly grocery shopping list inside. But a bag of peanuts. Some cracker jacks. Go for it. One listener told me he brought a full Pub Sub in with no problem. Now there are some requirements. For example, your food must be wrapped, bagged or in a soft container no bigger than 16x16x8.
What about drinks?
Drinks are a different story. They are a little more restrictive on that. You CAN bring juice boxes and sealed plastic water bottles in up to 1 liter in size. Soda… that’s something you’ll need to purchase. That’s a big part of their business and it’s likely the soft drink companies put their foot down on that one.