ST. PETERSBURG - There will be some new things for Rays fans to see when the Rays open the 2011 regular season tonight, April 1st, against the Baltimore Orioles.
First is the 2010 American League East division champion banner.
Next is the two biggest player acquisitions of the offseason: designated hitter Manny Ramirez ("Manny Ray") and outfielder Johnny Damon.
But the most highly visible addition to Tropicana Field is the new rug the Rays will play on this season, and for seasons in the near future.
Specifically, the new playing surface is called AstroTurf's GameDay Grass 3D60H and in total will cover a space of 1.1 million square feet. Studies by Michigan State University show the Astroturf plays more like natural grass than any other synthetic surface and looks more like natural grass.