Rays fans arrive early

30

June

Tb_tailgater ST. PETERSBURG -- By 4 p.m., a steady stream of cars were rolling into the parking lot at Tropicana Field in anticipation of the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox game. The game starts at 7:10 p.m.

"It's crazy," said Mike Seely, a parking lot attendant at Ferg's Sports Bar, who is tasked with keeping people out of the bar's parking lot.

Jeff Corns and Stephanie Latulip copped a squat on folding chairs under a shady tree in the Trop parking lot. Corns, 21 and his 17-year-old friend Stephanie drove 40 miles from Brandon for the game. They left extra early to avoid the traffic and crowds.

"We heard on the radio it was almost sold out," said Corns, a bar back at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. "I thought we'd beat the rush."

Thad and Rita Frost were in town on vacation from Delaware with their sons, Tim 10 and Ryan, 7. They arrived at the game with a cooler of sandwiches and sodas around 2 p.m.

To pass the time, they ate, played football and shopped. They even witnessed a fan conversion.

"He's gone from being a Boston fan to a Rays fan," Thad Frost said about his youngest.

Sporting a Rays shirt and Red Sox hat, Ryan chimed in simply: "I like the Rays better now."

-- Nicole Hutcheson, Times staff writer

[Tony Marshall of Oldsmar puts a package of brats on the grill in the parking lot outside Tropicana Field. Jim Borchuck | Times]

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:36am]

    

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