By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies begin to assemble for spring training on Monday and it won’t be long before fans start flying down to watch the action. But we can’t forget about the Phillies faithful who live in the Sunshine State.

The Rays may be king in Tampa/Clearwater but the Phillies aren’t far behind. After all, they’ve been training there since 1948.

In addition to the snowbirds who head south for Spring training, there are plenty of fans who live year-round in the Tampa Bay area. People like Paul Parone, who even formed a Philadelphia fan club called ‘Tampadelphia.’

He says the group can’t wait until the games begin down there. “What’s it like? Giddiness. Enthusiasm. Everybody is stoked. Trying to get tickets is going to be a challenge. There’s gonna be a lot of people cruising the ballpark trying to purchase tickets at the last second,” Parone said.

If they can’t all get tickets for single games Parone says they do the next best thing: meet up at a sports bar inside an airport hotel and watch games on TV.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060.