According to Rolling Stone, Earth Wind & Fire changed the sound of popular music in the 1970s with their innovative yet popular style of music. The band was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1969. Earth Wind & Fire have always promoted clean, uplifting messages in their lyrics. Their music can be classified as many different genres, including Soul, R&B, funk, jazz and rock. The band has won six Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, several Lifetime Achievement Awards and has sold over 90 million albums worldwide. Earth Wind & Fire is known for their exciting live shows complete with lights, magical illusions and a message of universal harmony. Earth Wind & Fire were the first African-American performers to sell out Madison Square Garden. The group has produced several hit singles during their six-decade career including “Shining Star,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Devotion,” “Reasons,” “Sing a Song,” “Can’t Hide Love,” “Getaway,” “Fantasy,” “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “After the Love Has Gone” and “Let’s Groove.” Earth Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
This marks the fifth season of the Rays Summer Concert Series. Since it began in 2008, the Rays have gone 27-7 on Saturday concerts and averaged more than 30,000 fans on those dates. The Rays Summer Concert Series is produced by Ruth Eckerd Hall on the Road.
ALS Awareness Night at Tropicana Field is Tuesday, July 3. Prior to the Rays-Yankees game, Rays Radio play-by-play announcer Andy Freed will read Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech. Representatives from the ALS Association are scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.
On Wednesday, July 4 the Rays welcome the USO to Tropicana Field to help celebrate Independence Day. The USO is a private, non-profit organization that boosts morale and provides recreational services to members of the U.S. military worldwide. Prior to the game there will be a concert performed by Outlaw 21 in the concourse at Gate 7 and a Kangaroo Express Chevrolet Camaro on display outside Gate 1 rotunda at Tropicana Field. As part of the celebration, all pregame activities and the seventh-inning stretch performances will be done by the USO Liberty Bells, a group that travels throughout the world performing for service men and women, their families, veterans and audiences that actively support the troops here and abroad. The USO Liberty Bells are part of American tradition that began with the muddy camp shows of the South Pacific 71 years ago. The 21-member troupe is comprised of Broadway and off-Broadway professionals who are chosen each year after an extensive audition process. For more information on the USO please visit usotampabay.org.
Throughout the Rays-Tigers series (June 29-July 1) the Rays Wives and Waste Management Co. are teaming up for Thanksmas in July, a toiletries supply drive to benefit the Salvation Army of St. Petersburg. Fans are encouraged to bring new toiletry items to the Waste Management Bagster bag collection points located in Center Field Street and Gate 5 in Tropicana Field. All fans who donate items can register to win Rays prizes and tickets.
The homestand will feature two unique giveaways. On Friday, June 29, the first 10,000 fans will receive the much anticipated Zim Bear presented by Tampa Bay Times as part of Friday Fest presented by Captain Morgan. On Sunday, July 1, the first 10,000 kids 14 and under will receive a James Shields bobblehead presented by Progress Energy and the Heart Gallery.
TAMPA BAY TIMES FAMILY FUN DAY (every Sunday home game)—Bring the whole family out to Tropicana Field and enjoy family-friendly activities and a chance to run the bases after the game presented by Find the Fun Now. Family Fun Day tickets for this Sunday (July 1) vs. Detroit start at $23 and include a hot dog, Pepsi and snack (subject to availability). Visit raysbaseball.com for details. Ticket prices increase $3 five hours prior to each game and are subject to change at the Rays discretion. Special promotional giveaways are given to the first 10,000 kids 14 and under in attendance.
TICKETS—Tickets for Rays 2012 regular season home games are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Rays Tampa Store (400 N. Tampa St.) and the Gate 1 Tropicana Field Box Office, as well as over the phone at 888-FAN-RAYS and 1-800-745-3000, or online at raysbaseball.com.
GATES OPEN—Monday through Thursday 1 1/2 hours prior to game time; Friday through Sunday two hours prior to game time.