Rays win bid to redevelop Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, despite threats to leave town

The chances of the Tampa Bay Rays staying in Florida — St. Petersburg, to be specific, though still “Tampa Bay” — got an increase today. 

On Monday, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch revealed throughout his State of the City address that he has actually picked the Rays over other suitors to redevelop Tropicana Field and the surrounding location. Via the Tampa Bay Times, here are some information: 

The Rays made their pitch as part of a joint proposition to develop a brand-new, modern-day, 30,000-seat ballpark better to the northeast part of the Tropicana Field website and to establish the location’s 86 acres with worldwide property financial investment and advancement group Hines. In addition to an arena, they propose developing a senior living center, 40,000 square feet of conference area as part of the ballpark area and a brand-new Woodson African American Museum of Florida at the advancement’s entranceway on Booker Creek. The group likewise would make a $10 million contribution to the museum and develop budget friendly real estate in other places in the city.

The arena would be funded independently. The Hines/Rays proposition used the most cash to the city for advancement rights with an aggressive timeline that would ensure a brand-new ballpark by the 2028 house opener.

On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred applauded the choice to the Tampa Bay Times: 

“Thank you to Mayor Welch for reaffirming St. Petersburg’s commitment to Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays. We look forward to working with the Mayor to secure the Rays’ long-term future in Tampa Bay.”

As such, it appears MLB is great with the proposition. All along, Manfred has actually shown the league desires a brand-new ballpark for the Rays someplace in the location, whether Tampa or St. Pete. The Rays can still work out with the city of Tampa and might possibly select to relocate to that side of the bay, however it does look like all roadways are headed towards them staying in the location full-time, rather of moving or more checking out the once-proposed “split” group (where they would invest a half season in Tampa Bay and a half season in Montreal). 

Should this be dealt with quickly, which seems the case, the one staying ballpark issue would be the relatively alarming circumstance with the Oakland Athletics. Manfred has actually shown in the past that, eventually, MLB will think about broadening to 32 groups however that it’s a concern to get these 2 circumstances dealt with prior to completely diving in to growth. 

Tropicana Field, the Rays’ present house, has actually functioned given that 1990 and has actually housed the group given that their arrival for the 1998 season. The lease goes through the 2027 season, so that’s why the time frame for conclusion of a brand-new ballpark is the 2028 opener. The Rays are the only present MLB group that have actually never ever hosted an All-Star Game which’s simply another factor to get a brand-new location. 

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