Tropicana Field is the world's only professional sports facility that features live rays. The Rays Touch Tank opened in 2006, and is located just behind the right centerfield wall. Through a unique partnership with the Florida Aquarium, there are over 20 cownose rays that fans can touch and feed throughout the game. The 10,000-gallon tank is sponsored by the Pinellas County Visitors Bureau and FloridaBeaches.com and is one of the ten-largest in the United States. If a Rays player hits a home run into the tank, then the organization will donate $5,000 to charity - $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium and $2,500 to the player's charity of choice.
Tropicana Field is the only Major League park to feature an artificial surface and all-dirt base paths. The two other Major League parks that currently feature an artificial surface (Toronto and Minnesota) have only dirt cutouts around the bases and at the pitcher's mound. Only four other artificial turf ballparks have ever featured all-dirt base paths: Houston's Astrodome (1966-1971); San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1971; Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium in the early '70s; and, most recently, St. Louis' Busch Stadium (1970-1976). Chicago's Comiskey Park had all-dirt base paths with an artificial turf infield and grass outfield in the early 1970s.
The Rays first installed FieldTurf in 2000 becoming the first pro baseball team to play on the top of the line synthetic playing surface. In February, 2007, the Rays installed FieldTurf's latest upgrade becoming first baseball facility in the world to feature the company's unique duo filament system. It is also used at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The system has special fibers, including four that stand up and four that lay over to trap the fill. There is also a clay "lift" grass for the warning track.
In another addition prior to the 2007 season, the Rays added four new video boards to Tropicana Field. The main video board in right field is 35 feet high and 64 feet wide, making it more than four times larger than the previous board. This ProStar video board from Daktronics will provide video content, highlight pitching matchups, and show pitch speeds, pitch counts, and other detailed statistical information. There are also two 10 by 50-foot strip boards below the main board which will have batter and pitcher statistics.
The Rays have a plethora of fan interactive activities in Left Field Street. Fans can participate in a baseball-themed game show, have their picture on a Topps baseball card, or their name inscribed onto a Louisville Slugger bat, touch and feel real game-used equipment, broadcast play-by-play of baseball highlights, and meet the colorful "Mayor of Tropicana Field."
Left Field Street also features the Mountain Dew Extreme Zone where fans can play stickball in a unique area that is designed to resemble a New York street alley. Fans can also enjoy the latest modern baseball video games, or they can play old school video games from Nintendo and Atari.
In 2007, Right Field Street was renovated to include numerous activities for young baseball fans. Kids can experience the magic of baseball in a carnival-like atmosphere. In addition, fans can still take their swings against computer images of real Major League pitchers in a batting cage or test their arms in the speed pitch. Right Field Street also features popular kids-themed areas such as "Bats, Balls, and Brushes," presented by The Arts Center and the "St. Petersburg Times Pressbox."
Unique seating location can be found throughout the stadium including The Checkers Bull Pen Café, located directly behind the Rays bullpen in the right field corner and offers picnic-style seating. Fans can also enjoy the game from the Home Plate Club located only 50 feet from home plate.
Tropicana Field features the world's second-largest cable-supported domed roof (Georgia Dome is the largest). It's made of six acres of translucent, Teflon-coated fiberglass and it virtually supports itself with 180 miles of cables connected by struts. Opposing forces of tension and compression keep the roof in an arc. Tropicana Field's roof is slanted at a 6.5-degree angle, dropping from 225 feet above second base to 85 feet at the center field wall. The slanted roof reduced the overall construction costs and decreased the volume of air under the dome by 16.8 million cubic feet. Accordingly, that reduced the amount of air that requires climate control treatment. It is built to withstand wind of up to 115 miles per hour.