Tampa Rays Play Exhibition Game in Havana

The Tamp Rays, the Major League Baseball team, played an exhibition game on March 22, 2016, against the Cuban National Time. President Obama and his family, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, and a few retired baseball stars, including Derek Jeter, attended, in addition to Cuban President Raul Castro and other Cuban officials. Admission to the game was free but tickets were distributed specifically so as to avoid allowing any opposition groups entry.

The game was the first MLB exhibition game played in Cuba in 17 years and another clear sign that relations between Cuban and the United States are thawing. The Presidents sat together in a public display of friendly relations between the two nations.

There is increasing talk of further Spring Training games in the coming years and, perhaps, it becoming a regular or annual tradition. An annual Spring Training game in Cuba (or more than one) would require the US to lift the embargo on certain types of travel to Cuba and it’s another indication that American┬átravel to Cuba will normalize soon.

The Rays beat the Cuban National Team 4-1.