The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that Friday’s Pride Night will be dedicated to the victims of the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting, the deadliest mass public shooting in modern United States history.
Pride Night is a longstanding and annual tradition at Tropicana Field, but this year’s event will be used to aid the victims of Sunday’s shooting. As of this morning, the Rays are selling all available tickets to Friday’s game for $5 and will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Pulse Victims Fund, which has been established for the families of the victims. Tickets are now available on the Rays’ website, and the team is waiving ordering fees.
The donation of ticket sales will not be the lone component of the Rays’ dedication. Friday will include a 50/50 raffle that benefits the Pulse Victims Fund, and other donation areas will be set up around Tropicana Field. Blood drives will take place at the ballpark on both Friday and Saturday.
Via the Rays’ announcement, here are additional details on Friday’s Pride Night:
- As a symbol of unity and inclusion, everyone in attendance will receive a “We Are Orlando” T-shirt.
- Proceeds from the team’s daily 50/50 raffle will also benefit the Pulse Victims Fund and additional donation centers will be located at the ballpark.
- Parking will be $5 per car at all team-controlled lots.
- OneBlood will hold blood drives at Tropicana Field starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. for Saturday’s 4:10 game. Donors will receive a OneBlood T-shirt and a voucher for two tickets to any future 2016 regular season game, redeemable online.
- The national anthem and “God Bless America” will performed by Una Voce, the Florida Men’s Chorale.
- There will be a video prerecorded by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Social Responsibility and Inclusion Billy Bean will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and Senior Vice President, Diversity and Strategic Alliances Wendy Lewis will also be in attendance.
- The Rays and Giants will also observe a moment of silence while the names of the Orlando shooting victims will be scrolled on the video board.
The Rays have a section of their website, Raysbaseball.com/Orlando, that fans can use to purchase tickets and learn more information about Friday’s proceedings.