The Tampa Bay Rays are likely to remain full-time Florida residents, and now two cities are competing for them.
A proposed new park in Tampa’s Ybor City has been specced out at $799 million by consulting firms AECOM and Skanska. That’s before adding the cost of a roof, estimated at $90 million to $160 million.
- The design is for a 27,000-capacity stadium, including 2,500 standing-room-only spots.
- The proposal includes public funds from a new “ballpark district” surrounding the stadium and an additional $14 million annually in property taxes from “ancillary development” in the area.
- The project would add a $21 million parking garage.
St. Petersburg could still potentially keep the team with a new stadium and development area at the site currently occupied by Albert Whitted Airport. Mayor Ken Welch said he has met with the team and local officials, tweeting last week that “St. Pete is back in the game!”
The Rays have been among baseball’s winningest teams in the last decade but have failed to attract much attention from their local fans.
Last season, for instance, the team handily won the A.L. East division over the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox but placed 28th out of 30 MLB teams in attendance, with only 9,513 fans per home game.
The team previously hoped to split games between Florida and Montreal, but MLB nixed that idea in January.