Surrounding businesses eager for Opening Day - FOX 13 News

Surrounding businesses eager for Opening Day

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

The start of a new season for the Tampa Bay Rays brings a fresh look and new amenities to Tropicana Field.

More than $20 million has been spent renovating Tropicana Field since 2006.

This season fans will enjoy a walkway that circles the field giving fans more access to ballpark gates, food and viewing areas including the new porch in center field.

Monday's opener is sold out for the ninth consecutive year.

Many restaurants and bars welcome the overflow and expect large crowds on opening day.

"It's going to be crazy," Mike Rodriguez, Ferg's Manager, said.  "It's going to be shoulder to shoulder people in here. Everybody wants food and drinks, and it's a balancing act. We have 23 different bartenders working at 10 different bars. It's just going to be a sea of people."

Ferg's employees spent all weekend stocking the bar and preparing food. Rodriguez explained it took a dozen bartenders hours to unload three trucks full of supplies just for Monday.

For many bars and restaurants nearby, opening day is their largest day in sales for the year.

Right outside Ferg's, Central Avenue will be shut down leading up to first pitch.

A block party will start around 11 a.m., gates open at 1 p.m., and the game starts at 4:10 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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