Tuesday October 3, 2023

Tampa Pitches Domed Waterfront Stadium to Rays

  • Tampa could poach the Tampa Bay Rays from St. Petersburg.
  • New renderings show a domed waterfront stadium in Tampa's Ybor Channel area.
View of field and dome of Tampa Bay Ray's Tropicana Field
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St. Petersburg is angling to keep the Tampa Bay Rays, but Tampa remains interested in luring the team.

Renderings for a 25-acre development in Tampa’s Ybor Channel, centered around a stadium, were shown at a virtual meeting that included Tampa city officials, a Hillsborough County administrator, and the Tampa Sports Authority CEO, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. 

  • The renderings show a domed stadium on the waterfront surrounded by a park.
  • The area is under contract to be purchased by developer Darryl Shaw, who plans to turn what is currently an industrial area into a mixed-use development.
  • The renderings were created by architecture firm Populous, which has worked on numerous stadiums and arenas, including the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, and four venues for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Last week, the Rays and developer firm Hines submitted plans for a new stadium on the same lot as their current home, Tropicana Field, which would likely cost more than $1 billion.


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Home Shopping

The Rays’ lease at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field expires in 2027, and the team has already explored multiple concepts for their next home. 

In June, St. Petersburg mayor Ken Welch said that two proposals for a new venue on the team’s current lot had been tossed out, and the bidding process reopened.

Major League Baseball quashed a proposal that would have the team split home games between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal.

Despite being one of MLB’s most consistent playoff contenders, the Rays are regularly near the bottom in attendance: Their average draw of 13,927 last year was third-lowest in the league.

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