Want an autograph? Try along the foul lines beyond the dugouts before games.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published March 4, 2004
WHERE: Progress Energy Park, 180 Second Ave. SE along the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. Take Interstate 275 to Exit 9 (I-175) and go east.
PARKING: Limited spaces available in city-run lot on site for $5. There are several other lots nearby. Street parking is usually limited to one or two hours.
BOX OFFICE: Stadium box office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and three hours before first pitch on game days. Tickets also are available at Devil Rays Dugout store at WestShore Plaza in Tampa, the Tropicana Field box office in St. Petersburg and through Ticketmaster at (727) 898-7297 or (813) 282-7297.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING: Sunscreen, a hat, your camera.
WHAT YOU CANNOT BRING: Backpacks, coolers, beverage containers and large bags. (Other bags are subject to search under Major League Baseball rules.)
WHAT YOU CAN EAT: Standard ballpark fare, plus a few extras.
WHEN CAN YOU GO IN?: Gates open 90 minutes before game time.
WHAT ABOUT AUTOGRAPHS?: Players usually make themselves available before the game, and the best places usually are along the foul lines beyond the dugouts. After the game, some players will sign on their way to the parking lot.
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE GAME?: The Rays usually arrive by 9 a.m. and go through a pregame workout either on the game field or in the practice areas beyond the outfield fence.
BEST SEATS: The box seats get you close to the action, but it's hard to beat the view of the field and the water from the higher rows behind first base. The berm areas can be fun, especially with kids who need space to run.