The Tampa Bay Rays are installing a new turf playing surface at Tropicana Field, a move that takes effect for the 2018 season.
In undertaking this project, the Rays are replacing turf that was just installed last spring. While there were reportedly not any major complaints from players about how the surface played, both the Rays and Shaw Sports believed that a new surface would look better from the stands and on television broadcasts.
The process of installing the new turf is expected to start following the conclusion of an event that is taking place at Tropicana Field this weekend. More from The Tampa Bay Times:
Shaw Sports will replace the surface installed last spring in a mutual decision with the Rays that it did not look as good — from the stands or on TV — as expected.
Team president Brian Auld confirmed the change, which apparently will be covered cost-wise primarily by Shaw. The Rays spent about $1 million on it last year.
“We have a really good partnership with Shaw, and they’re making it very affordable for us,” Auld said….
And while there were no majors complaints from players or obvious issues with how it played – “I didn’t hear one thing,” manager Kevin Cash said – there was disappointment in how it looked.
The Rays will look to finish the installation of the new turf playing surface at some point in March, as the club is set to host an exhibition game at Tropicana Field on March 27. Their regular-season opener will follow just two days later on March 29.