ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Fans descending upon the bay area in a couple of months for spring training will have another option when it comes to taking in Grapefruit League games.
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that due to damage done by Hurricane Ian to the Rays facility in Port Charlotte, the team will play its spring training home games during the month of March at Tropicana Field.
A home game against Pittsburgh scheduled for February 26 has been scrapped, and a February 28 game against the Yankees will be played at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is where the team will work out before heading to St. Pete. The Braves used the facility for 22 years through 2019 before relocating to North Port.
“We are thankful for Disney’s willingness and ability to accommodate our unexpected spring training needs,” said Rays president Matt Silverman, in a statement.
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Speaking of the Braves, they will play Team Puerto Rico in North Port on March 9. The Rays were originally scheduled to host the exhibition in Port Charlotte. Instead, they will play the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on that date.
The first of 13 spring training games at the Trop will be March 2 against the Twins. Ticket information for their Grapefruit League season will be available in January.
The Rays will join the Phillies (Clearwater) and Blue Jays (Dunedin) when it comes to spring training action in Pinellas County. With the Yankees in Tampa, the Tigers in Lakeland, the Pirates in Bradenton and the Orioles in Sarasota, there are seven spring training options within 90 miles.
On Tuesday, the Rays announced the first phase of spring training would be held at the Disney location, which is in Lake Buena Vista. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report February 14.