PRESS RELEASE -- ST. PETERSBURG, FL
The 2015 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest presented by the Tampa Bay Times is set for this Saturday, February 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. For the 20th consecutive year, admission and parking for Rays Fan Fest are free.
Fan Fest will feature a number of exciting activities for kids including "Reading with the Rays;" the Sagicor Coaches Clinic with former major leaguers and Rays broadcasters, Brian Anderson and Orestes Destrade; the All Children's Hospital Kids Interactive Zone; Kids Run the Bases; photos with Rays mascot Raymond and DJ Kitty; baseball activities for all ages and appearances by Rays players and coaches at various stations throughout the day.
Fans are encouraged to stop by the Bright House Networks Phone-A-Friend stage to have a Rays player call a friend or family member and receive the most up-to-date information on Bright House Networks products. This year, Alex Cobb, Kevin Kiermaier, Jake McGee and Matt Moore are scheduled to participate in Phone-A-Friend.
The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans even more opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat contests during Fan Fest. The team's main 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 should also look out for a special #MeetArch contest through Rays righthander Chris Archer's Twitter account, @ChrisArcher42, for the chance to meet Archer at the Social Media Zone presented by the Tampa Bay Times. The contest ends Wednesday.
Editor's note: The sabermetrics panel will be hosted by James Click, the Rays Director of Baseball Research and Development and former writer for Baseball Prospectus. The full panel has yet to be finalized.
In the All Children's Hospital Kids' Interactive Zone, kids can take cuts in a big league batting cage, try out their fastball in the speed pitch booth and swing for the fences in the Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby. In addition, at the Sagicor Coaches Clinic station, Rays broadcasters will conduct free clinics for kids of all ages and clubhouse tours will be offered throughout the day.
Fans will once again have the opportunity to purchase unique Rays memorabilia in the fifth annual Rays Charity Yard Sale in 162 Landing. This years' yard sale will feature collectable giveaways, figurines, T-shirts, photos and much more.
New for 2015 is the Rays Charity Clubhouse Corner in center field that will feature "Mystery Grab Bags" that include an autographed baseball from either a current or former Ray or another major leaguer, autographed memorabilia and team-issued apparel. All proceeds from the Rays Charity Yard Sale and the Charity Clubhouse Corner will benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. In addition, the Charity Clubhouse Corner will feature unique Don Zimmer collectibles with all proceeds benefitting the Don Zimmer Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Like last year, the Fan Fest autograph process will allow fans the opportunity to receive an autograph from the specific player(s) they want during a particular time frame. Fans must go online to purchase a pass that will provide access to that player. A limited number of passes remain and all sales must be completed online. The passes for a number of Rays players have already sold out and there will be no passes for sale on the day of Fan Fest.
Proceeds from autograph sales will benefit the ALS Association Florida Chapter. Additionally, one autograph table will be free for kids 14 and under and those who have purchased any autograph pass. More than 30 former major league players will also sign autographs for free throughout the day.
Representatives from the Rays Ticket Sales Department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of ticket plans, group tickets, spring training tickets, party area and suite rentals as well as three-, six- and nine-game Flex Packs. Rays Season Ticket Holders and Flex Pack buyers will receive special benefits at Fan Fest. When presenting their Rays Card upon entry at Fan Fest, Rays Season Ticket Holders and Flex Pack buyers will receive a $5 coupon that can be used toward the purchase of an item(s) at the Rays Charity Yard Sale at 162 Landing, with all proceeds benefiting the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Rays Season Ticket Holders (who will be able to scan their Rays Cards for early entry to Tropicana Field starting at 10 a.m.) and Flex Pack buyers will also have the chance to take photos with select Rays players throughout the day in their respective photo stations.
Fans can purchase a 2015 ticket plan or Flex Pack through raysbaseball.com to receive these benefits. Rays Flex Packs offer savings of up to 50 percent off single game pricing with introductory pricing starting at $59. Fans can choose from three-, six- and nine-game packs to enjoy savings, flexibility and rewards.
Between the Rays Charity Yard Sale and autograph sales at the 2014 Rays Fan Fest, $100,000 was raised to benefit local charities.
Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or log on to raysbaseball.com/fanfest for more information about 2015 Rays Fan Fest.