If you’re headed to Games 1 and/or 2 of the 2008 World Series at Tropicana Field, congratulations! By so doing, you are a part of history in the making as the Tampa Bay Rays go to the World Series for the first time.
Now for those of you coming from Tampa or Bradenton/Sarasota using Interstate 275, you need to pay attention to this blog entry. We’ll show you how to navigate Interstate 275 all the way to Downtown St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field. Also, for those of you lucky St. Petersburg residents who got tickets to either or both World Series games, we’ll show you how to navigate Interstate 275 to the Trop.
Coming from Tampa:
Use Interstate 275 south (crossing the Howard Frankland Bridge) to Exits 23A (Interstate 375) or Exit 22 (Interstate 175). Make sure you remain in the left lane for either exit, as these exits from Interstate 275 are left hand exits.
If you use Exit 23A: Take the first exit from Interstate 375, which will be Martin Luther King Street North. Turn right onto Martin Luther King Street North and remain in the right lane as you will go south about six blocks. Turn right at 3rd Avenue South and that will take you into the Tropicana Field parking lot.
If you use Exit 22: Recommended exit is the second exit on Interstate 175, 6th Street South, as the first exit – Martin Luther King Street South/8th Street South – will be congested. Once you get off on 6th Street South, turn left and go north on 6th Street South for two blocks. Then you will want to turn left onto 3rd Avenue South and proceed west; this will take you into the Tropicana Field parking lot.
Coming from Bradenton/Sarasota:
Recommended exit is the second exit on Interstate 175, 6th Street South, as the first exit – Martin Luther King Street South/8th Street South – will be congested. Once you get off on 6th Street South, turn left and go north on 6th Street South for two blocks. Then you will want to turn left onto 3rd Avenue South and proceed west; this will take you into the Tropicana Field parking lot.
No matter what direction you come from, always read and follow variable message signs posted on Interstate 275 as you get closer to Tropicana Field. These signs will advise you on parking availability at Tropicana Field as well as Downtown St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg area residents headed to Games 1 and/or 2:
Follow the directions given above if you are headed to Tropicana Field on Interstate 275. Alternatively, you can follow 4th Street North, Martin Luther King Street North or 16th Street North as these streets will lead you into Downtown St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field. Besides, these three streets are a great alternative to Interstate 275 if in the event it becomes congested.
Parking at Tropicana Field:
The advice from the City of St. Petersburg: Get there early.
Here’s more advice from the City of St. Petersburg which you should know about before setting out to Tropicana Field to see the World Series which I would like to share with you:
Get there early: Enjoy restaurants and other entertainment opportunities downtown before the games. For the ALCS series, fans were observed arriving early; and this strategy will need to continue. Fans arriving several hours before the first pitch (8 p.m) will find parking available in on-site parking lots (approx. 7,000 spaces). Fans arriving an hour or two early will find parking available in surface lots within a half mile walk of the field (approx. 4,000 additional spaces). Many supplementary lots have opened for the playoffs, including the City’s water resources lot on 16th Street near 2nd Avenue North. Fans arriving after surrounding parking is full will need to park closer to the downtown waterfront and either walk or take the free baseball shuttle. If all on-site parking lots are full, police and variable message boards will indicate that fans need to utilize overflow parking.
Take the free shuttle to Tropicana Field: Avoid the traffic and higher parking costs around Tropicana Field. City officials have added extra vehicles and service time to the shuttle system in order to accommodate more fans. On both days, the shuttle will begin service at 5:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. games. Shuttle service ends 90 minutes after the end of each game. The free baseball shuttle picks up fans at the corner of Central Ave. and Second St. S. (under the Bank of America Tower’s pedestrian bridge) and drops off passengers on First Ave. S. near 16th St. The city-owned South Core garage, accessible on First Ave. S. just east of Second St., is the designated shuttle parking facility and costs $5. Other parking is available in the immediate downtown area. A dedicated van will be available for guests with special needs. Additional information including a route map can be found at www.loopertrolley.com/Events and additional baseball parking information is available at www.stpete.org/baseballparking.
Park downtown by the waterfront: For the Rays game, drivers should utilize the South Core garage as described above. The best route to the South Core garage from I-275 is the I-175 exit and drivers should stay in the left lanes to bypass the baseball traffic getting off at 8th Street and 6th Street. Drivers will then take a left on 3rd Street and a right on 1st Avenue South to arrive at the South Core garage. Parking downtown will generally be less expensive than parking around Tropicana Field.
Utilize alternate routes to the game: Drivers familiar with local roads may wish to avoid the interstate system in favor of surface level roads. Fourth Street from the north is a good route to both downtown parking and Tropicana Field parking. From the South, fans can utilize 16th Street and 5th Avenue South. Fans utilizing the interstate from the North may wish to exit early and utilize 54th, 38th or 22nd Avenue North and go east to 4th Street. Fans coming from the South on the interstate can exit early on 31st Street to 5th Avenue South.
Utilize alternate routes after the game: Alternate routes are also advisable after leaving the game. Points of congestion to avoid include 8th, MLK and 20th Streets between 5th Avenue South and 5th Avenue North as well as 5th Avenue North, from 8th Street to 22nd Street. Alternate routes to the interstate are advisable including 4th Street North to 38th or 54th Avenue North for north-bound traffic and 4th Street south to I-175, then I-275 or 31st Street South to I-275 for south-bound traffic. Drivers on 1st Avenue North may wish to go west to 34th Street and then go north or south rather than utilizing the primary routes of MLK, 8th and 20th streets. These alternate routes and points of congestion should also be noted by other drivers who may not have gone to the game but are on the road during peak ingress and egress periods.
Beware of where you park: Do not violate parking regulations; parking enforcement will be issuing citations for illegal parking. Also be careful when parking in overflow lots surrounding Tropicana Field. There have been reports of persons illegally selling parking on property they do not own or control. Do not park in a lot if you are not sure that it is legitimate. Parking attendants should be in uniform and should provide a receipt/ticket when you pay. If the lot or the attendant/cashier does not look legitimate, park somewhere else.
To sum up, here’s a schedule for the 2008 World Series played at Tropicana Field:
Game 1 is Wednesday, 22 October 2008 at 8 PM.
Game 2 is Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 8 PM.
Game 6 is Wednesday, 29 October 2008 at 8 PM.
Game 7 is Thursday, 30 October 2008 at 8 PM.
Games 3, 4 and 5 are being played in Philadelphia; Games 6 and 7 will be played if necessary.
I got a related blog entry on the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2008 championship season, which you can read by clicking here. It’s worth a look!
LET’S GO RAYS! LET’S TAKE HOME THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP! Interstate275Florida.com and EdwardRingwald.com are proud of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2008 achievement!