The Tampa Bay Rays are set to make a significant announcement on Tuesday regarding the construction of a new stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. The new stadium will be located near the current Tropicana Field site as part of the redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District. It is expected to be open for the 2028 season.
Preliminary information suggests that the new stadium will have a fixed dome roof and an artificial turf field. It is estimated to have a seating capacity of around 30,000 and cost over $1.2 billion. The funding for the project will come from contributions from the team, St. Petersburg, and Pinellas County.
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg has expressed optimism about reaching a deal with the city and county by the end of the year. He has also stated that the team expects to finance at least half of the stadium project and is seeking investors to contribute to the remaining cost in exchange for shares in the team.
The new stadium agreement will provide the team with a new home after their 30-year lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027. Team officials anticipate that the new stadium will lead to increased revenues through higher attendance and more sponsorship deals. These increased revenues will allow them to improve facilities and increase player payroll.
This announcement brings an end to a 16-year search for a new stadium, which included proposed sites in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. Despite exploring the possibility of building a stadium in Tampa, negotiations did not progress far enough to establish a financing package. Additionally, a plan to split home games between Montreal and Tampa was rejected by Major League Baseball officials.
The announcement should put an end to speculation about the team potentially relocating to cities like Nashville or Las Vegas. Further details about the Rays’ announcement are currently not available.