The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly expected to announce a deal to build a new stadium in downtown St. Petersburg on Tuesday (September 19), effectively ending a decade-plus pursuit to find a new home, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The 30,000-seat domed stadium will reportedly be located near the Rays' current home, Tropicana Field, as part of an 86-acre Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment project and is scheduled to be completed ahead of the 2028 Major League Baseball season. The stadium is expected to cost more than $1.2 billion, which will be funded by contributions from the team, as well as St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg previously said that he expected the team would pay for "half or more" of potential stadium costs earlier this month.
The Rays' current lease at Tropicana Field is set to expire after the 2027 MLB season, which led ideas of possible locations in Pinellas and Hillsborough County, as well as a brief split-city plan with Montreal that was eventually shot down by the league. St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch had previously announced his decision to allow the Hines-Rays team to redevelop Tropicana Field and the surrounding Gas Plant District in January, ending the team's long running search for a new developer in January. The plan includes building more affordable housing, as well as outdoor space and entertainment in the area, along with the new MLB stadium.