scheduled tribe. Petersburg, Fla. ( Associated Press) – A new park for the Tampa Bay Rays will be built near the existing park, according to plans unveiled Monday, part of a massive redevelopment plan that includes housing, economy, offices and shops in what was once a It was a thriving neighborhood for the African-American community.
St. Petersburg, Florida Mayor Ken Welch chose a partnership with Ray and Houston development company Hines out of four proposals to convert the 80-acre site that currently occupies Tropicana Field. Welch indicated that with this plan he wanted the Rays to stay in St. Petersburg for a long time.
“The team is the best partner in this generational effort and now begins the next phase of making this dream a reality for everyone in St. Petersburg,” Welch said in a message on the steps of City Hall.
The Rays have played at Tropicana Field since it opened in the 1998 season, but have also considered moving to neighboring Tampa due to low attendance. There was also a proposal to split the home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal, but this was rejected by MLB.
Rays chairman Brian Auld, who attended the event with the mayor, said in a brief interview that he was “delighted” to see the project take a big step forward. The plan includes a new stadium with a dome and which will be ready to start the 2028 campaign; Their current contract with the stadium expires in 2027. Plans indicate that the current stadium will be demolished.
“This selection validates the hard work,” Auld said.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred indicated last year that there is a “sense of urgency” in resolving the Rays’ stadium issue and that MLB wants the team to remain in the Tampa Bay area.