The Tampa Bay Rays held a press conference Tuesday to reveal the team’s plans to build a new stadium in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa.
The stadium, which is set to hold a little over 28,000 seats, will have a total capacity of around 30,800 people making it the smallest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Tropicana Field holds a little more than 31,000 people, but the Rays have been struggling to fill out that capacity this season, averaging just 14,744 fans, the second-lowest total in the league ahead of only the Marlins.
In the plans revealed this afternoon, the stadium has a translucent roof and “sliding glass wall” exteriors. The team Twitter account posted official photos of the designs.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, estimates for the stadium cost are around $800 million with no definitive word on how much the team plans to contribute towards the construction. If they are able to build up the funding necessary to build the stadium, Topkin reports that it could still be a handful of years away.
“Building a new stadium is expected to take four-five years. The Rays are signed to play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg through 2027 but have an agreement in place to negotiate an early departure for a new stadium elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area, though they have to notify St. Petersburg officials by early next year. Sternberg told the Times last month he did not think an extension would be needed.”
The Rays, 46-44, currently sit third in the American League East division and are 10.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot.