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Rays Opening Day: What's new at the Trop | News

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Rays Opening Day: What's new at the Trop
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- It's Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day 2012! Here's what's new at Tropicana Field, plus Rays mascot Raymond professes his love live on 10 News!

10 News brought you live coverage of Rays Opening Day on The Morning Show from right on the turf at Tropicana Field.

That included a touching (and funny) moment you can watch in the video at the top of this article -- Raymond showing his love for 10 News traffic reporter Lorena Rabago.

Photos: Tampa Bay Rays 2012 Opening Day

We also gave you a tour of a new area at the Trop called 162 Landing. It's part party zone and part museum, dedicated to what Sports Illustrated called the end of the most thrilling day in baseball history.

Marked on the ground just beyond the left field wall is the spot where Evan Longoria's home run landed in the 12th inning of Game 162 -- the last game of the 2011 regular season.

That homer instantly sent the Rays to the playoffs after an astonishing comeback. The remarkable timeline of Game 162 is shown in a sort of museum area outside 162 Landing that all fans can check out when they visit Tropicana Field.

The landing spot itself is inside what was formerly the beach bar party area, which can be rented for private events seating 75-134 people.

Some more things have changed for the Tampa Bay Rays and their stadium for the 2012 season:

New Players - Some folks you probably haven't heard of join the team, like Stephen Vogt and Jeff Keppinger. But new designated hitter Luke Scott is a big name with a big bat. Plus, Carlos Pena is back at first base.

Two Key Players Out - Pitcher Kyle Farnsworth and centerfielder BJ Upton start the season on the disabled list, unable to play.

Pitching Even Stronger - The Rays have five of baseball's top starters. They're so talented, three other Rays players who are good enough to be potential starting pitchers for other teams have been sent down to the minor leagues or made into relief pitchers because there's no more room in the Rays pitching lineup.

Many things have stayed the same for 2012, which is good news and makes for great Tampa Bay Rays family baseball deals:

Ticket PricesRays tickets will cost about the same or less than in 2011, with some weekday games as low as $9 a ticket.

Free Carpool Parking - For all Sunday games, cars with four people or more will park for free in Rays parking lots. For all other games, the first 100 cars with four people park free. Come at least one hour before game time to get the deal.

Bring Your Own Food - The Tampa Bay Rays remain the only one of Florida's nine big league sports teams to allow you to bring your own food to the ballpark.

The Opening Day contest, the Rays vs. the New York Yankees, on Friday at 3 p.m. is sold out, as is Saturday's game at 7 p.m. But tickets are still available to Sunday's afternoon game against the Yankees.

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