(St. Petersburg) A new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays will be built near the current one, according to plans unveiled Monday for a major redevelopment of the area.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch chose a partnership between the Rays and the Hines Development Company among four proposals, to transform a 34-hectare site where Tropicana Field is located.
Welch said the plan should keep the club in St. Petersburg for the long term.
“This team is the best partner for this adventure,” Welch said in a speech at City Hall. Now the next phase begins to realize this dream. »
The Rays have played at Tropicana Field since their inaugural season in 1998, but have considered moving elsewhere, such as Tampa, due to low attendance.
A proposal to split their home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal was rejected by Major League Baseball.
The plan calls for a new indoor stadium to be ready for the start of the 2028 season; the Rays’ current lease runs through 2027.
Renderings released Monday predict the demolition of Tropicana Field.
Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred said last year there was a ‘sense of urgency’ for the Rays to resolve their stadium problem, and that MLB wanted the team to stay in the area. from Tampa Bay.
“We think it’s a major league market and we want to find a solution that makes the club economically viable in that market,” Manfred said at the time.
Details remain to be worked out over the next several years, including how to divide the funding between the Rays, the city, Pinellas County and other entities.
The plan includes around 5,700 housing units, offices, shops, 700 hotel rooms, a 2,500-seat performance hall and a museum.