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Rumor Has It: Tampa Bay Rays to Announce Contract for New Stadium in St. Petersburg

The Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg has been home to the Tampa Bay Rays for a long time. However, the rumor is that they may be moving to a new location.

The Tampa Bay Times‘ Marc Topkin reported on Monday, September 18th, that the Rays are expected to announce a deal for a new stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. The venue would be built near the team’s current home, Tropicana Field, and open for the 2028 MLB season.

While nearly all MLB fans will agree Tropicana isn’t a suitable home for the Rays, Topkin’s report may not garner universal approval.

Constructing the new Rays stadium near Tropicana Field would seemingly maintain one hurdle for fans that has kept them away in the first place.

FanGraphs’ Michael Lortz pointed out in 2015 how the population within a 30-minute radius of Tropicana Field was relatively small. The typical traffic around Tampa can be enough to put off those who otherwise might have been interested in attending Rays games.

Starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow reflected in 2021 that “nobody wants to come over the bridge and sit in traffic for three hours—or not that long.”

Perhaps the wider redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District, a vision in which the new Rays’ stadium fits, will help to address that underlying problem by drawing more people to the area.

If nothing else, Tuesday’s expected announcement allows Rays fans to breathe a sigh of relief because the team won’t be going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

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