It appears the Tampa Bay Rays are putting relocation rumors to bed.
The club is expected to announce Tuesday the completion of an agreement to build a new ballpark in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin.
The new stadium would be built near the club’s current home, Tropicana Field, as part of the redevelopment of the city’s Gas Plant District and open for the 2028 campaign.
Much like the Trop, it expects to have a fixed dome roof, artificial turf field, and around 30,000 seats, Topkin adds. It’s expected to cost $1.2 billion, with the Rays footing at least half of the bill.
The team’s lease with Tropicana Field expires after the 2027 season. The 33-year-old stadium has been the Rays’ home since their inaugural 1998 season and is considered one of MLB’s worst venues. One of the several criticisms of the stadium is the roof’s catwalks that often come into play on towering fly balls.
The Rays rank 27th in attendance this season, averaging 17,777 fans per game. Despite fielding a perennially competitive team, it would be their highest finish in attendance since ranking 22nd in 2010.
Over the years, there had been speculation of the Rays relocating to Montreal, Nashville, and other cities as they vied for a new stadium.
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