The Rays are poised to make an announcement tomorrow regarding a deal to construct a new stadium in St. Petersburg, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Not all of the details have been revealed, but Topkin relays that the new stadium will be built near Tropicana Field as part of a redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District site. It is expected to have a fixed dome roof, seat around 30,000 people and open for the 2028 season, just after the club’s lease at the Trop expires after 2027. It is believed to cost around $1.2 billion, with the exact breakdown unclear at this time. Owner Stuart Sternberg previously stated that he expected the club to pay “half or more,” with other contributions coming from St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and investors who would contribute in exchange for shares of the club.
The future home of the Rays has been an ongoing issue for years now, due to various concerns with Tropicana Field. The club has considered moving from St. Petersburg to Tampa and also toyed with a more creative plan that involved splitting the home games with Montreal, though the latter plan was eventually nixed by Major League Baseball.
The move to Tampa was seen as desirable since one of the issues with the Trop is the St. Petersburg location is less accessible. But attempts to secure financing for a stadium in Tampa never gained much traction, which is what led to the Montreal plan. Once that path was cut off and the financial situation in Tampa didn’t change, the club pivoted back to St. Petersburg.
More to come.