Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Juicebox (Tropicana Field) is an interesting place....

Walking in//Courtesy: Me
What if you tried to take a large coliseum or small dome and decided to oh...say...let's play baseball in it? Yeah, I know there has been a ton of stories on the eccentricities of the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, but the stories become a lot more interesting when you experience the place for yourself.

We got to make our first visit to the nicknamed...Juice Box, otherwise known as Tropicana Field on Wednesday. It definitely wasn't a bad experience, we saw a good game and it was pleasant, enjoyable just had an odd feel to it.

Inside the Juice Box//Courtesy: Me
Part of the lure and atmosphere of baseball is feeling like you are at a tried and true ballpark with history. The Trop doesn't have that. Part of the experience is being someplace that just says ballpark. The Trop doesn't have that.

What it does have. It's a pretty small place, so there aren't a lot of bad seats. It wasn't full, a good crowd, but not a great one. The fans are somewhat knowledgeable and are into the game.

What it doesn't have. Location. It's smack in the heart of St .Petersburg, Florida one of America's most desolate cities. Demographics. Everyone is St. Pete is old. If not least 75% of the population that remains. Atmosphere. You don't feel like you are at a real park. It feels like a sort-of large basketball arena.

The game itself was fun. The Rays beat the Texas Rangers 8-6. There were a couple of home runs. And yes, the legendary catwalks came into play. However, Tyler Teagarden's home run was hit so hard, that had it not hit the catwalk over the left center field wall, it would have hit the back wall of the stadium...or it would still be flying. The Rays are a very good, but not great team, however they were much, much better than Texas this week.

The crowd/Courtesy: Me
I understand now why the team wants a new place. Really, to walk the concourse feels like you are at a basketball gym. It's in a horrible location and is not easy to get to if you live in Tampa...or Clearwater...or Orlando...or pretty much any other city in Florida.

It's really kind of hard to put into words why the place is so weird, it just is. For the sake of the fans here, I really hope they get a new place. While I know that the weather is an issue here during the summer, it still is how the game was meant to be played. It's very obvious if you've spent time in the Tampa Bay area they love the team. But not that many go. And it's because of the stadium, not just where it is, the stadium itself, that keeps them from being a big draw.

Wow, I guess I missed this, but check out the Tampa Bay Rays cartoon as they save the world? I feel as though I missed something epic here. Thanks YouTube:

No comments: