Fans pack the Trop for Rays Pride Night
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The Bay Area's support for the victims of the deadly shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando is evident, and one testament to that is the sellout of the Tampa Bay Rays' Pride Night celebration.
Tropicana Field was packed Friday night for the team's annual Pride Night.
After Sunday's Pulse nightclub shooting, the Rays announced additions to their annual Pride Night -- including all ticket sale proceeds going to the Pulse Victims Fund, themed "We Are Orlando" T-shirts for everyone through the gates, OneBlood donation drives, performance of the national anthem and "God Bless America" from Florida Men's Chorale 'Una Voce,' raffles, memorial displays, and more.
The Rays also announced tonight's team hats were special-ordered throwbacks to the old minor league Orlando Rays' look. They feature an "O" for Orlando with a stingray across the front, reminiscent of the old Devil Rays' logo. Uniforms will also have new patches reading "Orlando" in honor of the victims.
After the Rays announced their already-planned Pride Night would revolve around supporting victims of the shooting, it sold out within hours. For the first time in years, the upper deck tarps were lifted for the game.
The night included a special video presentation from Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, and the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Major League Baseball's vice president of social responsibility and inclusion, Billy Bean.
The Rays, as well as their opponent, the San Francisco Giants, observed a moment of silence as the names of victims who died during the shooting were presented on screens throughout the park.