Rays Ybor Stadium One Step Closer To Reality, Dare To Dream

Rays Unveil Plans For Next Generation Ballpark 

By: Steve Kinsella
On Tuesday afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays and architectural firm Populous (more here) 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.”

Stadium Location:

The stadium will be located in Ybor City along Adamo Drive and 16th Street. It will be located within a 30-minute drive of 1.6 million people and will act as a catalyst for development of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Tampa Bay Rays, Ybor City
Photo Credit: Rays Baseball

About The Stadium:

Tampa Bay Rays, Ybor City
Photo Credit: Rays Baseball

While it will be a fixed roof stadium, and thus artificial turf, it will have sliding glass exterior walls beyond center field and behind home plate bringing the outside in. This will provide fans with stunning views of Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City, as well as cross breeze in pleasant weather.

It will be the smallest and most intimate ballpark in MLB. There will be 28,216 fixed seats and a total capacity of 30,842. It will include 17 different seating areas with 21 district viewing platforms and social gathering placed.

Still A Dream:

Tampa Bay Rays,Ybor City
Photo Credit: Rays Baseball

While the artist renderings are beautiful, the Rays playing there is still just a dream. There is a price tag associated with the construction of the park. For now, it’s undetermined who or how the funding is going to be accomplished. The estimated price tag is estimated at $809 million with additional infrastructure costs of $83 million. The Rays are hoping to have the ballpark open by Opening Day 2023.