Tampa Bay Rays unveil new City Connect alternate uniform

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Rays revealed a new alternate uniform at Tropicana Field on Monday.

The City Connect uniform, created by Nike for several Major League Baseball teams each season, incorporates elements of Tampa Bay’s culture and iconic locations like the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

“Introduced in the 2021 season, the Nike MLB City Connect Series celebrates each city’s deep-rooted history, culture and spirit that continues to bring the clubs and their communities together,” a MLB news release stated.

The Rays are one of nine teams unveiling their version of the alternate uniform in 2024. The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics are the only teams who have yet to receive City Connect uniforms.

The Rays’ City Connect uniform is designed to reflect the “underground” culture of Tampa Bay.

“There’s an energy and a vibe that makes this region unique,” Warren Hypes, vice president of creative and brand, said in a statement. “The untold stories of our community are compelling, and the City Connect program gives us a chance to share them. We’re especially excited to celebrate Tampa Bay’s skate culture and shine a light on its role in history.”

The Rays uniform incorporates neon colors reminiscent of the team’s vintage Devil Rays jerseys. For the first time since 2007, “Tampa Bay” adorns the front of the uniform.

The team calls its jersey’s texture “fit for a day in Tampa Bay, designed to simulate a black shirt that has been weathered in the Florida sun.”

Two new logos feature a ray. The first takes inspiration from the Skyway Bridge and another is a skateboarding ray “to represent the hard work and grit required of athletes to succeed in both skateboarding and in baseball.”

The new uniform will debut during the Rays’ series against the New York Mets, which begins on May 3. They will wear the City Connect uniforms on each Saturday home game. The uniform will also make an appearance during away games against the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.

Fans who can’t wait to get their hands on the new merchandise can shop at the Bay Republic Team Store at Tropicana Field starting at 2 p.m. On Monday, fans will enter the store through Gate 1 to enjoy special photo opportunities, a DJ, a skateboarding demonstration and Rays mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty.

The Rays will host a City Connect celebration event on Thursday at the St. Pete Pier from 5 to 10 p.m. According to the Rays, the event includes player appearances, live music, a skateboarding demonstration, interactive games, food trucks, photo stations and a City Connect-themed Drone Show, which will show the uniform logos in the sky.

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