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Tampa Bay Rays unveil new ballpark plans

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Tampa Bay Rays have revealed their plans for a new ballpark in Ybor City, Tampa.

The ballpark will have 28,216 fixed seats with a total capacity of 30,842, a fixed translucent roof, and sliding-glass exterior walls to allow the outside to be enjoyed inside the building.

The playing field will be an artificial surface.

The idea will be to seamlessly blend the ballpark into the historic urban fabric of Ybor City. The ballpark’s accessible design will enable it to serve as a year-round community asset, with the potential for programming, events and creative partnerships.

Principal owner Stu Sternberg said:

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.

I speak for the whole Rays organisation 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.

The Ybor location is within a 30-minute drive of more than 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 it could be completed for Opening Day 2023.

In January 2016, the Rays gained permission from the city of St. Petersburg to look outside the area for possible new stadium sites.

The Rays announced in October 2017 that a site in Ybor City fitted the bill as their preferred location for the ballpark.