“I feel a good deal of confidence” – MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred optimistic about potential deal for new Tampa Bay Rays stadium

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred & Tampa Bay Rays Slugger Randy Arozarena
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred & Tampa Bay Rays Slugger Randy Arozarena

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was at Tropicana Field for Thursday's matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays. Coincidentally, St. Petersburg City Council members held a meeting at City Hall to discuss the planned new stadium.

The proposed idea is to have a pavilion-style stadium for approximately $1.3 billion. The team will commit $700 million to the stadium while the city and Pinellas County split the remainder $600 million.

Manfred feels good about where things are going. He believes the team should not have a problem getting the new stadium approved.

"I feel a good deal of confidence that they're going to be able to get it done" - said Manfred.

Tampa Bay has long been looking to move on from Tropicana Field. It is one of the worst across Major League Baseball and was partly why they traded Willy Adames.

At the tail-end of Adames time with the Rays, he complained that he had difficulty seeing the ball playing under the lights in a domed stadium. It got so bad that he tested out non-prescription glasses for a while.

While an eyesore, the Trop is also hard for fans to get to. There is little to no public transportation like there is in many MLB ballparks.

Tampa Bay Rays stadium ranked 2nd-worst according to USA Today

Tampa Bay Rays - Randy Arozarena (Image via USA Today)
Tampa Bay Rays - Randy Arozarena (Image via USA Today)

Ahead of the 2024 season, USA Today editors ranked all 30 MLB stadiums. At the end of their tour, they ranked Tropicana Field as the second-worst stadium in baseball.

This should come as no surprise to many baseball fans. Even Rays fans have a hard time getting excited to go to the Trop to catch a game, which should never be the case.

Players and fans should be able to take pride in their team's stadium. It is their home and should be where they feel most comfortable. Instead, many fans would rather travel and catch an away game.

The proposed new stadium will seat 30,000 fans and include walls that can open to let fresh air inside the stadium. It also plans to have an "unmatched viewing experience" with modern amenities and the latest technology.

If everything goes smoothly, the stadium is expected to be complete in 2028, right after the lease with Tropicana Field is up. However, a final vote is expected to be made on July 11.

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Edited by Jared "Bloomy" Bloom
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