NEW YORK -- Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said on Sunday he expects the Rays' home opener against the Mariners on Tuesday night to be sold out by Monday at the latest.

"I don't think there will be any seats left at some point [on Monday]," said Sternberg prior to Sunday's Rays-Yankees contest. "Not that I'm watching it or anything."

If the Rays' opener is sold out as Sternberg expects, it will be the third consecutive Opening Day sellout for the Rays since Sternberg's ownership group took control prior to the 2006 season.

"You know, it's funny -- the first year, right until the end, we were hoping we'd sell it out," Sternberg said. "It's an interesting progression. Last year, I think it was by 3 or 4 o'clock [in the afternoon on the day of the game], we were able to announce a sellout. And this year, to be able to announce it a day or two in advance -- that's great progress."

Tropicana Field's capacity is 36,048.