MLB Rays pick builder for new ballpark



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Tampa Bay Rays select builder for new stadium Image: Hines

Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays have picked the construction company to build their new billion-dollar ballpark.

Spectrum News said the team selected Minneapolis-based company Mortenson Construction to carry out the work as part of plans to redevelop the Historic Gas Plant District in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mortenson has built several professional sports complexes, including Truist Park, the Braves stadium in Atlanta.

The $1.3 billion project would see St. Petersburg contribute $287 million, while Pinellas County and the Rays would put in $312 million and $770 million, respectively.

The St. Petersburg city council still has to approve the project and a final vote on it will take place during the city council meeting on July 18.

The project, which is being designed by Populous and is expected to be completed by Opening Day in 2028, passed its first hurdle earlier this month with council members voting 5 to 3 to advance the plan.

As well as the ballpark, the project plans include 5,000 residential units, 600 affordable/workforce housing units, 1.4 million square feet of office/medical space, and 750 hotel rooms.

The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in the Tampa Bay area. The Rays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League East Division. They currently play at Tropicana Field.

The 42,735-capacity Tropicana Field is a multipurpose domed stadium located in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. The stadium has been the ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays since the team’s inaugural season in 1998.

The Rays said St. Petersburg’s love affair with baseball dates back well over a century, and the development of a new ballpark for them represents the next chapter in St. Petersburg’s baseball history – ensuring it will remain one of the unique 26 communities with an MLB team.

With a capacity of approximately 30,000, the new ballpark will be a true community gathering place. The venue will be an open and accessible component of the public realm year-round. Its spaces will be used for civic events, graduations, concerts and festivals, passive recreation and championship Rays baseball.

The fully enclosed and air-conditioned ballpark will ensure comfort and protection from the elements while maintaining the ability to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding environment. Transparent, mobile walls will line exterior-facing businesses to “bring the outside in.” The unique roof design also captures the essence of a “Pavilion” – a keystone of Florida-style architecture known for its flexibility.

The entire ballpark will be intentionally designed as a gathering place where everyone feels welcome on event and non-event days, uniting the Tampa Bay region and connecting diverse, multi-generational fans.

Three seating levels will feature a variety of comfortable seating types from premium clubs and suites to flexible viewing areas, decks, and social gathering spaces for all fans. Modern amenities and the latest technologies will provide unmatched viewing experiences and family-friendly activities will include an aquarium exhibit and multiple kid-zones.

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