Because those thousands of visiting Red Sox and Yankee fans deserve better. From the St. Petersburg Times’ Aaron Sharockman and Marc Topkin :
The Tampa Bay Rays are planning a $450-million stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront site of Al Lang Field.
The stadium, with about 35,000 seats, would be paid for primarily by the team, which would contribute about $150-million, along with the proceeds of the sale of development rights to Tropicana Field. The team hopes to attract a private developer to build a large retail/residential complex at the Tropicana Field site. The team also would seek as much as $60-million in future state sales-tax revenues, which would require approval by the Legislature.
St. Petersburg voters would need to approve the new stadium because it is public property. The city would attempt to sell the land to the county so it wouldn’t have to pay property taxes. The Rays would ask for a longterm lease.
The new stadium would be open-air, but it could be covered with sail-like material on a cabling system. Some seating areas would be air conditioned.
The stadium would be built on the site of the longtime spring training stadium that the team is leaving next year.
The new stadium would be positioned so that balls hit over the right-field fence would splash into the water, similar to the Giants stadium in San Francisco.