Closed-down bar becomes Rays "pop-up" team store

St. Petersburg, Florida -- All around Tropicana Field, folks are getting ready for the Rays' return home, even in some unexpected places.

Just days ago, they were pouring beers in one spot along Central Avenue. But Kathy O'Neil is no bartender.

O'Neil normally helps run the team store during Tampa Bay Rays spring training in Port Charlotte. She's been called back into action for the playoffs.

Now she's swooping in to set up what the Rays are calling their "pop up" shop.They're selling all of the postseason apparel you can imagine on the patio of a Central Avenue bar that just went out of business.

**Show your support for the Rays, use #FillTheTrop on Twitter and Facebook**

"Normally, we will have a trailer and can't display it as well," O'Neil said of the array of merchandise.

"We're excited about the street party, the parade will be coming by, a lot of festivities today."

O'Neil's son played minor league baseball and she says the sport is in her blood.

So while a sellout crowd -- including her son -- is filling the Trop a few blocks away, she'll be here selling gear and loving every minute of it.

"We're really excited about it, and we're hoping to be here for a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll be here until November. We'll go all the way," she said.

That store is right next to the big street party the City of St. Petersburg has planned for Monday afternoon.

From 3:30 p.m. until game time at 6 p.m., Central Avenue by Ferg's Sports Bar will be shut down and full of fans.

Come out and enjoy beads, music, and the big blue mascot himself, Raymond.

While today's game is sold out, tickets for a possible game 4 are still available and can be purchased online at


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment