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Tampa Bay Rays announce deal for new St. Petersburg ballpark

September 27, 2023
(Image: Tampa Bay Rays)

(Image: Tampa Bay Rays)

The Tampa Bay Rays announced an agreement with the city of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Pinellas County to move forward with a new ballpark and a development by the Hines Historic Gas Plant Partnership on the 86-acre site where the team’s current stadium, Tropicana Field, sits.

The agreement advances a project for St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay region that will include nearly 8 million ft. sq. of mixed-use development and a new, neighborhood ballpark for the team. According to the team, the project will invest more than $6.5 billion in St. Petersburg over 20 years.

Notably, the new stadium will feature artificial turf surfaces. Currently, the Rays are one of five teams in Major League Baseball to play on artificial turf, including the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field), Miami Marlins (LoanDepot Park), Texas Rangers (Globe Life Field) and Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre). Shaw Sports Turf installed the playing surface at Tropicana Field in 2020 with the company’s TruHop Triple Crown synthetic turf system.

Construction on the transformational development is expected to begin in late 2024 in the first of two phases. The team will continue to play in the existing ballpark on the site until the end of its current lease with St. Petersburg in 2027. Phase 1 of the development and the new ballpark are projected to be ready by Opening Day 2028.

The ballpark will have a capacity of around 30,000 for baseball, with the ability to accommodate up to 35,000 for other events. The Rays will pay more than half of the $1.3 billion ballpark and be responsible for any cost overruns. Pinellas County and St. Petersburg will combine to contribute approximately $600 million in equal amounts.

The public approval process by Pinellas County and St. Petersburg is expected to begin this fall, according to the team

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