The Tampa Bay Rays have been the talk of the town this week as the team announced Ybor City as their preferred location for a new stadium

  • Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest
  • Meet players, get autographs, take pictures
  • Send us pictures of you at the Rays Fan Fest via our Spectrum BN9 app

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Rays Fan Fest.

Fans came out to Tropicana Field to meet their favorite players and coaches, take pictures, get autographs and really get excited for the start of baseball season. 

Many of the fans we talked to have been supporting the team since the very beginning.

"Day one, 1998 they played the tigers they lost 5-4 and that was their first game," George Stone said.

They've been waiting all winter to get back on the turf for fan fest.

"Anyone who loves baseball can't wait to hear the crack of the bat and the slap of the ball," Sherry Langlais said.

As fans were out meeting players and getting excited for the upcoming season, many were also wondering about the team's future if they move to Ybor City.

"If you try to get from here to Tampa at 5 at night it takes you two hours so it'll take you three hours to get to the ballpark," Stone said.

Fans that are season ticket holders living on the St. Pete side worry traffic will be a nightmare if they have to drive to Tampa.

"Going to the games here are fairly easy for us we go to Lightning games all the time getting through traffic in Tampa is a lot more of a hassle for us going to Ybor city is not really exciting for us at all," Karen Ferreri said.

Others said they're excited about the team's opportunity to play in a new stadium and think it'll draw a larger fan base.

"I love it it's going to be nice to have a new stadium get something fresh. As long as they stay in the area, I'll always go to Rays games," Robert House said.

"When you're a fan you don't let those things bother you. You're a fan because you like the team and you support the team and that's the best way to do it," Stone said.