Rays shrink seating capacity at Tropicana Field



Linkedin Twitter

Tropicana Field - Tampa Bay Rays Image: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays announced early January that they are eliminating all of the upper-deck seats at Tropicana Field, dramatically shrinking the capacity of what was already the smallest stadium in Major League Baseball.

The Rays described the change in a news release as part of a series of “improvements and renovations” that team president Matt Silverman said will “help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans.”

According to the release, Tropicana Field will have an estimated capacity between 25,000 and 26,000 when the renovations are complete — a reduction of at least 5,000 seats from its previous capacity of 31,042. The next smallest stadium in MLB, Progressive Field in Cleveland, has an listed capacity of 35,041.

The Rays also plan to improve lighting throughout the stadium and turn a previously-tarped section of seats into a common area called “the Left Field Ledge,” according to the release.

The Rays’ proposed stadium in the Ybor City area of Tampa – which the club last month declared will not move forward – also called for the smallest capacity in the major leagues. The $892 million project included just 28,216 seats and a total capacity of 30,842.

Tampa Bay averaged just 14,258 fans per home game in 2018, which ranked 29th out of 30 teams, and the club has ranked last or second-to-last in average attendance every year since 2011. It’s gotten to the point that even a prominent Rays player, Tommy Pham, is speaking openly about the lack of fan support.

“It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all,” Pham, who previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals, said in a SiriusXM interview last week. “St. Louis, they’re one of the few teams to where day in and day out they have 40,000 fans at every game. That’s something that I miss.”

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on stadium business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports venue executives and professionals.

Watch 150 member-exclusive videos with valuable tips for your venue



« Previous News:
» Next News:


More News

ASM Global continue to work on venue safety

ASM Global-Clorox clean-safe venues’ mission

Published: May 20th, 2022

ASM Global, the world’s leading producer of live entertainment, and The Clorox Company, a global... » Read more

Plymouth Argyle new LED screen

Home Park to boast ‘six-figure sum’ screen

Published: May 20th, 2022

The League One team Plymouth Argyle F.C. (UK) is spending “a sizable six-figure sum” on a 45... » Read more

Los Angeles Angels stadium sell on hold

Mayor graft cloud on Angel Stadium sale

Published: May 20th, 2022

An Orange County Superior Court judge put the $320-million sale of Angel Stadium in Anaheim,... » Read more

New host countries confirmed for Southeast Asian Games

SEA Games hosts announced in Hanoi meeting

Published: May 20th, 2022

Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have been named as the hosts of the respective 2025, 2027 and 2029... » Read more


Receive global sports venue NEWS twice a week in your inbox