New Stadium for the Rays?
The Tampa Bay Rays have created a proposal for a $450 million dollar open-air downtown stadium that would give fans protection from rain and views of the waterfront in St. Petersburg.
Much like the Giants’ home ball park, the Tampa proposed stadium would allow hitters to hit home runs into the bay. The proposal hinges on the Rays current home, Tropicana Field, being sold.
The new stadium would be open to the elements but could be covered with sail-like material on a cabling system when necessary. Fans or other devices would provide cooling, and some seating areas would have air-conditioning.
The stadium would be built on the site of the longtime spring training facility the team is leaving next year. But the new field would be shifted so that balls hit over the rightfield fence would splash into the water.
The design is expected to beretro-style, popular among recent ballparks. The smaller capacity (approximately 35,000)also reflects the recent trend in ballpark design. The proposed site of Al Lang stadium is only about 10 acres, which would mean no more free parking to which Tampa fans have grown accustomed.
If all goes to plan, the Rays could move there by 2012. A new stadium could become more of a destination and boost the team’s attendance, which has consistently ranked among the league’s worst.
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