Tampa Bay Rays fans hungry for opening day have lots to cheer about this season at Tropicana Field. The Rays and Centerplate, the team's hospitality partner, today showed off renovations to the first and third base food courts and new menus, fresh for the 2016 Major League Baseball season.
During the offseason, Centerplate and the Tampa Bay Rays renovated and updated the concourse offerings with new designs, additional points of sale, enhancements to equipment for fresher food and faster service, and new menus for fans to sample at Rays games.
"We're really excited about the new variety and the fresh new look," said Centerplate General Manager John Cirelli. "There are even more options, from local favorites Pipo's and Ducky's to seafood and Cuban specialties, that are all part of a focus on providing a local and authentic experience."
Green Bench Brewing
A focus on local and authentic is exactly what led the Rays create their own craft beer, 2-Seam Blonde Ale (4.5% ABV), for the 2016 season. The beer was created in partnership with Green Bench Brewing in St. Petersburg and will be sold exclusively at Tropicana Field. It will available at nearly 30 locations in all areas of the stadium.
"We wanted to celebrate Tampa Bay's award winning craft beer industry," said Bill Walsh, Rays Vice President of Strategy and Development. "We partnered with Green Bench, located just steps from Tropicana Field, to create a light, crisp and fresh blonde ale that anyone can enjoy."
For Green Bench Brewing, partnering with the Rays was a perfect fit. "Baseball is our national pastime and this is a unique opportunity for us to establish deeper roots within the Tampa Bay community," said Green Bench Owner Nathan Stonecipher.
Evan Longoria's Ducky's
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria's Ducky's restaurant will also debut at Tropicana Field in 2016. Longoria opened Ducky's, a boutique sports lounge, in Tampa in 2013. This season fans can visit Ducky's Deck in centerfield or the Ducky's portable concession stand on the Budweiser Porch. The menu includes crab cakes, fresh turkey wraps and a Ducky's salad with chicken or steak.
Other top new additions at concourse stands for the 2016 season include:
· Pipo's Café - serving an award-winning menu of Cuban and Latin dishes for more than 30 years in Tampa Bay, Pipo's will serve their delicious Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and fried plantains from locations in Centerfield Street and the first base concourse.
· Cuban Favorites - serving up authentic Cuban-style sandwiches, Cuban-inspired hot dogs, and a sustainably-sourced fried grouper sandwich with cilantro sauce, lettuce and tomato on Cuban bread.
· Ybor Dog - will feature a signature Kayem all-beef jumbo hot dog with picadillo sauce, as well as perennial favorites chili-cheese dogs topped with bacon, or BBQ dogs with pulled barbecue pork.
· Burger Up - introduces the "Triple B" Sandwich with hot roast beef, fried bologna, white American cheese, grilled onions, sliced tomato, apple jalapeno coleslaw and 1,000 island dressing on a Kaiser roll.
At the popular Everglades Brewhouse in Centerfield Street, exciting new menu items include:
· Buffalo Chicken Sliders - crispy chicken medallions, Red Hot sauce, shredded lettuce and bleu cheese dressing on flour-dusted potato buns.
· The Ripper Dog - natural casing hot dog, deep fried and served with house-made kettle chips and your choice of chili and cheese or traditional horseradish, mustard and sauerkraut toppings.
· Smokehouse Burger - custom-ground, char-grilled burger cooked to medium and topped with smoked bacon and American cheese on a toasted bun, served with fresh Bibb lettuce, sliced tomato, red onion, pickle chips and house-made kettle chips.
· Fan vs. Food Challenge - serious eaters can try to finish 1 pound each of sliced brisket, pulled pork, BBQ chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, and French fries with four slices of Texas toast for two free tickets to a game, a t-shirt and bragging rights.