TAMPA, Fla. — The rays are coming back.
We're not talking about the 2020 American League Champions, we're talking about the other rays. The ones in the ray tank at Tropicana Field.
The team announced the Ray Tank would be back for games starting June 9 and will be there for the remainder of the 2021 season.
However, don't expect to be able to run over there and dunk your hands in quite yet. The team said the touch experience won't open until June 22.
The fan experience comes through a partnership with The Florida Aquarium, according to the MLB website. The rays in the tank are cared for by staff from the aquarium.
Besides the rays, the team says beginning June 8, ballpark capacity will increase to 20,000 fans
The Rays cite increasing vaccination rates and continued health protocols at the Trop for the increase from 9,000 fans. The team says full capacity seating will be available in sections 101-149, the Rays Club, the Louisiana Hot Sauce Left Field Ledge and the GTE Financial Party Deck.
Sections 203-224 will continue to have socially distanced seating made up of pods in increments of one to six people.
Masks are optional for all fans if they have been vaccinated, the team said.
If 20,000 fans show up to upcoming games, it'll be a blast from the past for the Rays. The team averaged 19,255 fans per game during their 2012 season, according to Baseball Reference.
Attendance per game during the 2019 season averaged just under 15,000 fans.
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