The MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays have revealed plans to make a raft of improvements to their current Tropicana Field home.
The new wave of renovations will see a reduction of the seating capacity at the venue from 31,042 seats to between 25,000-26,000.
The makeover includes plans to create more social gathering spaces with the development of the Left Field Ledge, which will include a full-service bar, ledge tables and seated drink rails.
Rays president Matt Silverman said:
These renovations mark our continued commitment to providing a first-rate fan experience at Tropicana Field. Together, in concert with the reduction in seating capacity, these investments will help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans.
It’s the second straight year that Tropicana Field has undergone renovations. Last season, Tampa Bay overhauled the food, beverage and retail experience by creating new concession concepts that better reflected the surrounding community, while also renovating the Rays Republic Team Store.
The Rays have now invested more than $50 million in Tropicana Field renovations since 2005, including more than $15 million in the last two years.
The renovations will take place before the 2019 season and include:
- Offering more social gathering spaces with the creation of a new common area, the Left Field Ledge.
- Redesigning and enhancing two primary fan entrances (Gate 4 and 5) to improve the flow of fans through increased access points and wayfinding features.
- Exchanging the current turf for a new Shaw Sports Turf product, designed to withstand the myriad events held at Tropicana Field throughout the year.
- Adding access from the Budweiser Porch and Ballpark & Rec areas to the Outfielder bar behind center field, as well as creating an external entrance to the food and beverage space.
- Redoubling the organisation’s commitment to sustainable energy practices by replacing the existing field lights with energy-efficient LED lights, improving overall on-field playability and entertainment lighting throughout the ballpark.
- Elimination of the upper deck, which reconfigures the ballpark seating areas to include the first, mezzanine and second seating levels, as well as the new GTE Financial Party Deck. This will bring all fans closer to the field of play.