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Switch in Rays' practice facility causes changes to spring training schedule

The Rays will split their spring training between Disney and Tropicana Field, causing changes for the entire Grapefruit League schedule.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Tuesday the team will be splitting their spring training between Disney and Tropicana Field — a move that has shifted the spring training schedule for the entire Grapefruit League.

Because the Rays are unable to host games or practices at their facility in Port Charlotte, MLB issued an official update to the 2023 Spring Training schedule on Wednesday. 

The major changes include:

  • Tampa Bay's home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, Feb. 26, has been removed from the schedule.
  • The Rays’ home game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, Feb. 28, will now be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney, which will also host Tampa Bay’s spring workouts.
  • All Rays home games during the month of March will be played at Tropicana Field.
  • Team Puerto Rico’s scheduled exhibition game against the Rays on Thursday, March 9, will now be hosted by the Atlanta Braves at North Port.  The Toronto Blue Jays will now play the Rays at Tropicana Field on that date.

Fans can check out the Rays' full 2023 Spring Training Schedule here. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Rays announced earlier this month that they would not be able to host spring training at their facility in Port Charlotte because repairs to their complex could not be made in time for spring training. The Rays have trained in Port Charlotte, which is about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, since 2009.

Ian, a powerful Category 4 storm, struck southwest Florida's Gulf Coast in late September.

The Atlanta Braves did spring training at the Disney complex for 21 years before relocating in 2019 to CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida, which is also on Florida's Gulf Coast.

“We are thankful for Disney’s willingness and ability to accommodate our unexpected Spring Training needs,” Rays team president Matt Silverman said in a statement. “ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will provide our players and coaches with first-class facilities for their annual ramp up to the season.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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