Rays’ proposed stadium would have roof, windows, turf

If the Rays-Hines redevelopment plan is approved, expect a pavilion-like structure with a low profile.
A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site from the Tampa Bay Rays.
A rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site from the Tampa Bay Rays. [ Tampa Bay Rays ]
Published Dec. 3, 2022|Updated Dec. 3, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have come up with another new stadium plan.

They revealed some details Friday while sharing their bid in partnership with Hines — a global real estate investor and developer firm — to redevelop the Tropicana Field site.

If their bid is chosen by the City of St. Petersburg and they proceed as planned, expect a stadium in 2028 that will have a fixed roof but large glass side windows that open, a capacity of around 30,000 and a turf field. It likely would cost in excess of $1 billion and be built slightly east of the current site.

Related: Romano: Fasten your seatbelts, there’s a new stadium plan for the Rays

The stadium is being designed, principal owner Stuart Sternberg said, as “a pavilion.” It would include a somewhat square base and a roof that — while high over the playing field but with no catwalks — would (given there is no upper seating deck) appear low in scale to the rest of the shops and restaurants on what they’re calling a Game Day Street area, and fit into the neighborhood.

“It’s a fixed roof with operable walls,” said Rays chief development officer Melanie Lenz. “So we’re able to open the walls up and invite the community in but have a fixed roof to guarantee comfort and gain certainty (against rain being an issue).”

Related: 4 developers apply to redevelop St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field

Home plate would be at the south end of the plot with batters facing north. The north and west sides would have most of the windows, which could be opened on the few days when air conditioning isn’t necessary and provide breezes.

The roof would be made out of a hard deck with sections of the fluorine-based plastic ETFE which can let in diffused light.

The Rays, working with the well-known Populous architectural firm, said they have not yet designed the interior of the stadium which, according to the request for proposal, is supposed to be a state-of-the-art, community-centric, engaging ballpark. As part of that, team officials said the stadium would be available for use for myriad other events, and walkways would be open on non-event days.

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