ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The 2017 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by the Tampa Bay Times, is set for Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry to Fan Fest beginning at 10 a.m. Admission and parking are free. Over 60 current and former major league players and coaches are expected to attend, and will appear at various stations throughout the day along with mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty. A list of those expected to attend is included below.
Among the free activities, fans are invited to take photos in the Rays dugout for the first time this year, then take a tour of the Rays clubhouse facilities. More than 40 major league alumni will be signing autographs for free throughout the day. Also, fans have the opportunity to compete against Rays players at numerous tailgate games, including 22-player foosball, pop-a-shot, air hockey, giant Jenga, ping pong and more.
Fan Fest will feature a number of exciting activities for kids including Reading with the Rays, presented by Suncoast Credit Union; speed pitch, batting cages and home run derby in the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Kids Interactive Zone; and baseball clinics in the infield, Kids Run the Bases and a High Five Station with Rays players, courtesy of Sagicor Life Insurance Company. While there, kids ages 14 and under can get a free membership to the Rays Rookies Kids Club, presented by Outback Steakhouse.
To promote Reading with the Rays, the club's summer reading program presented by Suncoast Credit Union and supported by the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education, a Rays player will read select stories on the Pepsi Main Stage. The Pepsi Main Stage will also host entertainment throughout the day. In addition, the stage will also feature "Rays Rookies" TV hosts Zach and Kayla, a Raymond entertainment show and panels with Rays coaches, broadcasters and team executives. The Budweiser Beer Garden returns again, offering Budweiser, Bud Light, hot dogs and other ballpark snacks for fans to purchase throughout the day.
The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat contests during Fan Fest. The team's official Twitter account, @RaysBaseball, will serve as a communication hub where fans can get up-to-date information on events happening throughout the day and answers to questions about Fan Fest. Fans can also visit the Social Media Zone presented by the Tampa Bay Times for photo opportunities with Rays trophies and awards, players and oversized emojis.
Back for a seventh consecutive year, fans can purchase unique, game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the club's inaugural season at the Rays Charity Yard Sale. For the first time ever, all items featured in the 162 Landing area of the Charity Yard Sale will be available for $5 each. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. In addition, Don Zimmer collectibles will be available for purchase at the Clubhouse Corner, with all proceeds benefiting the Clearwater for Youth Don Zimmer Memorial Scholarship. Fans will also have the opportunity to bid on exclusive Rays experiences at the Clubhouse Corner Silent Auction. To date, Rays Fan Fest has raised more than $465,000, allowing the Foundation to support youth and educational programming in the Tampa Bay region.
Fans may also register for a Tampa Bay Rays branded license plate. All fans who register for a plate at Fan Fest will receive a ticket voucher for a 2017 home game. A portion of the proceeds from license plate sales benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Florida Sports Foundation.
In various locations throughout Fan Fest, staff members will be selling tickets as part of the "Split the Pot" fundraiser, which provides the chance for one lucky fan to split the cash prize with the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Ted Williams Foundation.
Representatives from the Rays Ticket Sales Department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of season tickets, Flex Packs, group tickets, spring training tickets, party areas, suite rentals, and special ticket offers. Rays Season Ticket Holders will have the exclusive opportunity to purchase autograph passes. They will receive an email with instructions on how to purchase the passes. For $100, each autograph pass will include one (1) autograph from three (3) Rays players, with proceeds benefiting the ALS Association Florida Chapter. Season Ticket Holders will also be able to access the Republic Bank Draft Room--a club area which will feature a photo station to have their pictures taken with Rays players, complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, alumni player appearances and more. Season Ticket Holders who attend Fan Fest will also receive a credit loaded onto their Rays Card that can be used on concessions and merchandise on the day of Fan Fest.
Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/FanFest for more information about 2017 Rays Fan Fest.
Current and Former Players Expected to Attend 2017 Rays Fan Fest (subject to change):
Current Rays Players & Coaches
Jose De Leon
Steven Souza Jr.
Former Major Leaguers (* = Former Rays)