Tampa Bay Rays announce deal for a new ballpark; securing a long-term home in the Tampa Bay area.
The Tampa Bay Rays are closer than ever to securing a long-term home in the Tampa Bay area.
As we reported yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays were in final negotiations to build a new stadium that would ensure that the team remains in the Tampa Bay area for the future. Well, it looks like the team made it official today.
Today, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they reached an agreement with the city of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County to build a new, $1.3 billion ballpark as part of the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site, an 86-acre area also known as the Historic Gas Plant District. The club, city, and county made the announcement at Tropicana Field’s “162 Landing.”
Tampa Bay Rays team President Brian Auld said in today’s press conference announcing the agreement: “I am incredibly excited. This is a big, meaningful, and really positive development… I also feel a ton of pressure to make sure that we can execute this vision that particularly the mayor of St. Petersburg has entrusted us to deliver, but also the county commissioners. So we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
The proposed new 30,000-seat ballpark (with the capacity expanded to 35,000 for special events) with three seating levels, a fixed roof, an artificial turf field, operable walls, and a pavilion design. The Rays would pay for more than half of the stadium’s estimated cost, with the city and county covering approximately $600 million and the Rays responsible for the rest.
The Ray’s current 30-year use agreement at Tropicana Field expires after the 2027 season. If the agreement is approved and everything goes according to plan, ballpark construction will begin in late 2024 and be completed by late ‘27. The Rays would begin playing there on Opening Day 2028 and accomplish their oft-stated goal of keeping the club in the Tampa Bay area for generations to come.
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