Letʼs start with the location. Itʼs old people and itʼs run down. The only group of people who have a higher mean age than the citizens of St. Petersburg, are the ushers at Tropicana Field. I get depressed every time Iʼm in Tampa and I drive over the bridge to watch my beloved Rays. Itʼs supposed to be a glorious day scoping out Americaʼs
favorite pastime, and I feel like Iʼm going to an End of Days viewing of the movie “Cocoon”.
Now on to the actual stadium. Here is a list of my 3 favorite catwalks:
3. the line from the Right Said Fred song “Iʼm too sexy;”
2. anything that hot models take turns strutting on for a couple hours;
If youʼll notice, the sections in Tropicana Field that created new rules in a sport that doesnʼt like change (remember the “purists” take on interleague play? remember that?) didnʼt make the ﬁnal cut. And the worst part about it, is thatʼs our signature feature. Thatʼs what other teamʼs fans know about our stadium. The catwalks.
Sure, we have a live Ray Tank, and a “beach” section [Ed Note: Brendan lives in LA so he didn't get the word that the Beach was renamed like 10 years ago] and a mascot that looks nothing like a Ray, so we decided to name him Raymond (guess what, not everybody loves him), but around the league we are known for having crazy ceiling protuberances that may be in play, may be foul or may be a home run.
If the Trop has catwalks, and having catwalks is the worst feature in a major league ballpark…then, using the transitive property, the Trop has the worst feature in a major league ballpark.
And ﬁnally, the support. Iʼm fully aware that I canʼt make fun of a stadium for 3 paragraphs and then complain about no one going to said stadium…but weʼve had a solid, playoff contending, young and exciting team in the Tampa Bay area for 3-4 years now. Get to some games Ray Area. Sure it would be nice if there were places
surrounding the stadium that served food and beverages. And it would be cool if you got to a game a bit early and dinʼt feel like you had just been “Left Behind.”
The area surrounding the Trop is a less crowded Hill Valley from “Back to the Future 2”, when Biff gets rich gambling and turns the once recognizable town into a chaotic Dystopia. So Iʼm not surprised people donʼt go, but it sure doesnʼt look good on tv when chairs outnumber people.
And I get that Florida produces a lot of oranges, but weʼre named after part of a balanced breakfast. Was “Pancake Stadium” taken?
“The Cereal Dome?”
“Buttered Toast Yards”?
City of Tampa, take the paraphrased-for-this article advice that Ray Kinsella heard all those years ago in Iowa…”If you build it…they will come”. And then letʼs all watch as Tropicana Field walks out into the corn.