(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - This afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays and architectural firm Populous unveiled their design proposal for a next-generation, neighborhood ballpark located in Ybor City. Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, Team President Brian Auld, Team President Matt Silverman and Chief Development Officer Melanie Lenz introduced the renderings to local officials and media at the Italian Club of Tampa.
“I’m proud and incredibly excited to present our vision of a ballpark and one that is of, by and for the people of Tampa Bay,” said Sternberg. “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.”
Innovative and fan-friendly, the ballpark would be fully enclosed by a translucent roof to ensure comfortable temperatures and game certainty. Dramatic sliding glass exterior walls beyond center field and behind home plate bring the outside in, offering stunning views of Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City, as well as cross breeze in pleasant weather.
The ballpark would be the most intimate in Major League Baseball, with 28,216 fixed seats and a total capacity of 30,842. A small upper level creates the closest vantage point of any modern ballpark, with a maximum distance of 204 feet from the field. Fans choose from 17 comfortable, unique seating areas, or 21 distinct viewing platforms and social gathering spaces. These areas are connected by a 360-degree concourse featuring complete views of the playing field.
The ballpark’s light colors, water features and modern contours invoke the bright future of the Tampa Bay region, while blending in seamlessly to the historic, urban fabric of Ybor City. Its accessible design enables it to serve as a year-round community asset, with the potential for programming, events and creative partnerships.
The Ybor location is within a 30-minute drive of over 1.6 million people who call the Tampa Bay area home. The ballpark is projected to cost $809 million with additional infrastructure costs of $83 million and could be complete for Opening Day 2023. Fans can view the proposed ballpark at ballparkreimagined.com.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROBERT HYPES (Tampa Bay Rays)
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg & President Brian Auld joined JP Peterson following the press conference. Here the audio below!