Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Fla. will be getting a minor makeover before opening day, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin.
The Rays will reportedly be installing a new "LED illumination system" on their home stadium's roof, lighting the Tropicana Field roof blue throughout the 2019 system. The upgrade is a solution to a common problem at the Trop: players losing fly balls amid the white roof.
“I’m all for anything that would make that dirty white ball not blend into that dirty white roof as much,’’ Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier told Topkin. “For my sake, when I take my eye off the ball, especially balls hit over my head, those are the one I get really frustrated on. I don’t care how many years you play here, you never get used to catching a dirty white ball on a dirty white roof."
The new lights may not be ready for opening day, though. General manager Kevin Cash said the lights are "not ideal", and the Rays may first use them for pregame and postgame festivities.
Tampa Bay plans to use blue lighting that will "provide a more natural look," per Topkin. The lighting will reportedly fall between a royal and navy blue.
Perhaps the Rays' new lights can propel them to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Tampa Bay finished third in the AL East in 2018 at 90–72.