ST. PETERSBURG, Florida- Heading to the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Rays They put the finishing touches on plans Tuesday to build a new 30,000-seat stadium in St. Petersburg as part of a $6.5 billion megaproject that includes affordable housing, shops, bars and restaurants and a history museum. African American.
The site is located on the same land — an area of 34 hectares — in the center of the city and where Tropicana Field stadium now stands. The dome-tilted facility will be demolished as soon as construction on the new one is completed, in time for opening day of the 2028 season, Rays co-president Brian Auld said in an interview Monday.
The project, which will still have to overcome several political hurdles due to its financing and endorsements, ensures to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg for the immediate future, despite the constant speculation of moving to Tampa, on the other side of the bay, and Nashville, Tennessee. The possibility of playing part of the campaign in Montreal was also raised, something that the Big leagues discarded.
“We will stay here for a long time,” says Auld. “We are excited that for the first time since we embarked on this we have a clear path to ensuring the Rays remain in Tampa Bay for several generations.”
The announcement of the new stadium and adjacent project was revealed Tuesday at an event held at Tropicana Field.
“I’m excited that the Rays will still be here. “Finally!” said Pinellas County Commission Chairwoman Janet Long. Long highlighted that this is the most important infrastructure project in the county’s history.
The Rays have played in St. Petersburg since their first season in 1998.
The Trop, as the current home of the Rays is known, has been vilified for being an anachronistic stadium and having roof support beams that are impacted by foul balls. It cost $138 million when it was built in 1990 with the goal of attracting a baseball franchise to the region.
The new ball park will cost about $1.3 billion, according to officials. Nearly half will be provided by the Rays and the other by city and county governments, said deputy president Matt Silverman. The structure will have a fixed roof for play in Florida’s hot, rainy climate, with doors and windows on the sides that can be opened to let in fresh air during the cooler months.
“It will have the smallest capacity in the Major Leagues. Having that roof is necessary, but you’re looking to create intimacy,” Silverman said.