2:30: Tropicana Field parking lots open for tailgating
4:30: Gates open; Rays players and team officials greet fans in rotunda
4:40: Rays batting practice
5:40: Mariners batting practice
6:44: Carlos Pena, right, receives his 2007 AL comeback player of the year award
6:49: Starting lineups announced
7:01: National anthem performed; color guard from U.S. Special Operations Command Joint Service Honor Guard from MacDill Air Force Base
7:04: Ceremonial first pitches by Gov. Charlie Crist and retired Bucs fullback Mike Alstott
7:10: First official pitch by Matt Garza
For all fans, a schedule magnet, thermal mug and scratch-off card for prizes.
• Free parking is limited to vehicles with four or more passengers in lots 2, 3, 6B, 7-9, 11-14. Otherwise, general parking is $10, with $20 parking in Lot 1 and $5 in Lots 11-14.
• The Trop looks very blue inside and out as the new color scheme has been heavily integrated. Also, scoreboard graphics and themes have been changed.
• The Budweiser Party Tent on the east side of the stadium will be open starting at 3 p.m. today and for all weekend and prime games.
Past home openers
1998Tigers 11, Rays 6
1999Red Sox 4, Rays 1
2000Indians 14, Rays 5
2001 Rays 8, Jays 1
2002Rays 9, Tigers 5
2003Rays 6, Red Sox 4
2004Rays 9, Yankees 4
2005Jays 5, Rays 2
2006Orioles 6, Rays 3
2007Rays 6, Jays 5
Previous first pitches
1998 — Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez; 1999 — Larry Doby; 2000 — Wade Boggs; 2001 — St. Petersburg Mayor David Fischer; 2002 — U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks; 2003 — Bucs coach Jon Gruden and GM Rich McKay; 2004 — Boxing champ Winky Wright; 2005 — Auto racer Michael Andretti; 2006 — Al Lopez Jr., Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV; 2007 — Gov. Charlie Crist
Songs of hope
As the Rays open their home schedule tonight, Times pop music critic Sean Daly looks ahead to what might be and offers a playlist for the season. Floridian, 1E