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Fan's guide to Rays spring baseball
By Times Staff Writer
Published March 3, 2005
WHERE: Progress Energy Park, 180 Second Ave. NE, along the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. Take I-275 to Exit 22 and head east.
PARKING: Limited spaces are available in the city-run lot on site. There are several lots nearby. Most charge $5. Street parking is usually limited to two hours.
BOX OFFICE: The Progress Energy box office will be open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and three hours before home games. Tickets also are available at the Devil Rays Dugout at WestShore Plaza in Tampa or at the Tropicana Field box office in St. Petersburg. Tickets may be purchased over the phone through Ticketmaster, (727) 898-7297 in Pinellas or (813) 282-7297 in Hillsborough.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING: Sunscreen, a hat, your camera.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T BRING: Backpacks, coolers, beverage containers and large bags. (Other bags are subject to search under Major League Baseball rules.)
WHAT YOU CAN EAT: Typical ballpark fare, from hot dogs and hamburgers to pretzels and, of course, Cracker Jack.
WHEN YOU CAN GO IN: Gates open 90 minutes before game time.
WHAT ABOUT AUTOGRAPHS?: The best place to stake out players is down the foul lines or near the dugout before games. The parking lot adjacent to the field is good before and after games.
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE GAME?: Players usually arrive around 9 a.m. and go through pregame workouts either on the field or in the practice areas beyond the outfield fence.
WHERE ARE THE BEST SEATS?: Box seats put fans right on top of the action, but there isn't a bad seat in the stadium. Sitting in the grandstand provides a beautiful view of the waterfront, and there is always a chance for a foul ball. The berm is a popular place for kids to roll around during the game.