After having a home series relocated because of Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay Rays are hoping to return to Tropicana Field later this week.
With Hurricane Irma affecting much of Florida, the Rays had their three-game home series against the New York Yankees relocated. Though the Rays remain the home team, those games were shifted to the New York Mets’ Citi Field, with the set beginning on Monday and slated to conclude on Wednesday.
The Rays are off on Thursday, making Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox the earliest they could play their first home game back at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field. In comments, club officials have expressed optimism that the series can be played in St. Petersburg as originally planned. More from The Boston Herald:
Rays owner Stu Sternberg was on MLB Network yesterday and said he expects that series to be played at Tropicana Field as the Rays are now in New York playing a “home” series against the Yankees.
“We’re not planning on anything otherwise,” he said. “I think we’ll have a real good sense of things tomorrow as we start to get a download from the police, fire and administrative people on how the area is. Our plan right now is to fly home after Wednesday’s game. I know the players and staff on the trip right now, we had the players bring their families if they wanted to and most did, if not all. They want to get back and see their homes and check on whatever they left behind.”
Another Rays executive has made a similar statement, with president Brian Auld saying that the club and other parties involved in the decision are “optimistic” about the team returning to Tropicana Field this weekend. More from The Tampa Bay Times:
Rays president Brian Auld spoke a few minutes ago with St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and said all parties are “optimistic” about playing at the Trop this weekend, but will until Tuesday to make the final decision.
The Tampa Bay Times also reported that Tropicana Field’s roof remains intact, and that the ballpark has not suffered any major damage or flooding as the result of the storm. Hurricane Irma had an effect on another major league facility in Florida, as the Miami Marlins’ Marlins Park sustained minor damage as the result of the storm. The Marlins are currently playing a road series in Philadelphia, and are not scheduled to return to Marlins Park until Friday.