The Tampa Bay Rays, who have been longing for the construction of a new soccer field for a long time, have opened the way.
Local media such as the ‘메이저놀이터 Tampa Bay Times’ and ‘MLB.com’ reported on the 31st (Korean time) that the Rays club was selected as the site developer for Tropicana Field, the current home stadium.
Partnering with real estate developer Heinz, the Rays club beat other competitors to win a concession from the City of St. Petersburg to develop Tropicana Field and the surrounding 86-acre site.
This incident did not completely solve the problem of the new soccer field. However, it can be said that it is a meaningful move that can solve the stadium problem.
“We are now at the end of the beginning,” said CEO Brian Old Race at a press conference that day. We are on a new starting line, and there is a long race ahead. But we have a team that can finish this race well.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said, “I am confident that this decision is the best decision for our city.”
The Rays club plans to materialize the development plan by finalizing the financial plan through negotiations with the city of St. Petersburg by May. The goal is to get City Council approval between September and October. Tropicana Field, the current home stadium, has a lease until 2027. The goal is to hold the opening match in 2028 at the new home stadium. The Rays Club and Hines presented a plan to build a stadium with a capacity of 30,000 seats, but with open walls.
If this proposal becomes a reality, the Rays will remain in their current hometown of St. Petersburg. The geographical factor of falling from Tampa, the regional center city, has been pointed out as the biggest factor hindering the mobilization of race spectators.
In this regard, MLB.com reported that the Rays club has recently been paying attention to the continued population growth in the Tampa Bay area, and expects that the number of spectators will increase if a state-of-the-art stadium is built through regional redevelopment.
Tampa Bay, which uses the most underdeveloped home stadium in the major leagues and is struggling to mobilize spectators, has tried to solve this problem several times. results are not yielding. The construction of a new soccer field in another city in the Tampa Bay area was promoted, but the plan was canceled, and the plan to share the area with Montreal was also not similar.