The long-time stadium problems in Tampa Bay seem to have a possible solution in sight, as the Rays unveiled renderings for a possible future stadium in Ybor City yesterday.
With attendance numbers that regularly rank near, or at the bottom of all of baseball there have been debates going on for years now about what should happen to the franchise, including the possibility of the team moving if a solution could not be come up with to keep the team in the Tampa area.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 10, 2018
Principal owner of the team Stu Sternberg said about the renderings of the stadium, “I speak for the whole Rays organization and the 20 years we’ve had here today that we expect to be here for generations to come. We believe that baseball can not only survive but thrive in Tampa, in Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay region.”
The new stadium is set to have a total capacity of just over 30,000, which would make it the smallest ballpark in all of baseball, but with the low attendance numbers they’ve had over the course of their franchises history, trying to create some demand for tickets by having a smaller ballpark wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Early projections on the costs of the stadium are around $900 million, but that seems really conservative to me and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the costs of it clear $1 billion, which will still make this a ways out from happening as the Rays have to commit an amount of money that they’ll contribute to the stadium and then the city will have to approve of footing the rest of the bill for the stadium, which could be a possible hangup.
Assuming the Rays are able to get this deal done and start construction on their new stadium, that’ll leave the Oakland A’s as the main team in baseball that needs to get their stadium situation figured out, with the possibility that the Diamondbacks could also be in line for a new stadium sometime in the near future.