The Tampa Bay Rays are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the franchise, and they are willing to continue their missery with a brand new stadium and finally get rid of the Tropicana Field, arguably the worst ballpark in the entire league.
Stuart Sternberg, owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, announced during a news conference this friday the franchise's plans to move away from Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since 1998. Sternberg stated that the search of the location for the new ballpark will be focused in Ybor City.
Also Friday, a local businessman announced the formation of the Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization and campaign to help gain support for the project from the public and business community.
The timeline of such a project is unclear. A new ballpark likely will cost more than $700 million.
The team finished last in attendance among all the MLB teams in 2017 season, with only 1.25 million fans in total and averaging 15,670 per game, their lowest since 2005. Also, the Rays recorded the franchise's all time low home attendance on September 5th against the Minnesota Twins, with only 6,509 fans at the stadium.
MLB comissioner, Rob Manfred, has stated that Tropicana Field is “inadequate” for Major League standards, with the Rays' home remains as the last fixed dome stadium. In the past few seasons, various rumors have stated that the franchise could be relocated to another city.