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View Full Version : Rays announce new open air stadium for 2012


Fenway
11-22-2007, 02:10 AM
WFLA Tampa just aired a story that the Rays plan a new open air ballpark for 2012 It would be where Al Lang Field is located.

PKalltheway
11-22-2007, 06:33 AM
Will it actually be in Tampa, or will it be in St. Pete?

Fenway
11-22-2007, 06:39 AM
Will it actually be in Tampa, or will it be in St. Pete?

Downtown St Pete, 35000 seats. Open air with a cover for rain.

PKalltheway
11-22-2007, 06:42 AM
Downtown St Pete, 35000 seats. Open air with a cover for rain.
Cool. I wonder if the state will be as stingy with this stadium plan as they are with the Marlins?

DoItForDanPasqua
11-22-2007, 09:31 AM
When it opens, there will be no more true domes left, and only Toronto will have an artificial surface. Even the Astros don't play on Astro Turf anymore.

Fenway
11-22-2007, 09:45 AM
When it opens, there will be no more true domes left, and only Toronto will have an artificial surface. Even the Astros don't play on Astro Turf anymore.

and the Jays say they want out of Skydome saying it is obsolete at age 18

Hitmen77
11-22-2007, 10:25 AM
WFLA Tampa just aired a story that the Rays plan a new open air ballpark for 2012 It would be where Al Lang Field is located.

This was reported here last week: http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=1721152#post1721152

Here's the latest in today's St. Petersburg Times: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/

When it opens, there will be no more true domes left, and only Toronto will have an artificial surface. Even the Astros don't play on Astro Turf anymore.

IF it opens. They still have to secure funding for it - which is a pretty big hurdle.

But, you're correct, if this does go through it would mean all 30 MLB teams can play home games in open air (fully open or retractable roof) and only the Blue Jays will be playing on an artificial surface. The Twins move to their open air, natural grass park in 2010.

WhiteSoxJunkie
11-22-2007, 10:59 AM
But, you're correct, if this does go through it would mean all 30 MLB teams can play home games in open air (fully open or retractable roof) and only the Blue Jays will be playing on an artificial surface. The Twins move to their open air, natural grass park in 2010.

Good. That's the way it should be.

Hitmen77
11-22-2007, 11:35 AM
and the Jays say they want out of Skydome saying it is obsolete at age 18

Didn't Skydome cost something like $1billion to build?

I remember that when it opened in 1989, it was hailed as a magnificent ballpark. That retractable roof was years ahead of other RR parks. IIRC, the Jays drew 4 million back in the early 90s when they won back-to-back World Series titles.

3 years later after it opened, Camden Yards opened and Skydome was already on its way to being out of style. People complain about new Comiskey being built just before the retro craze - but that's nothing compared to the multi-purpose, artificial surface Skydome.

Frater Perdurabo
11-22-2007, 12:38 PM
This proposed stadium, if built, instantly would catapult the Rays from having the worst stadiums to one of the best.

Fenway
11-22-2007, 12:45 PM
This proposed stadium, if built, instantly would catapult the Rays from having the worst stadiums to one of the best.

The feeling down here ( in Largo for the holiday ) is that the dirty work has already been worked out. They appear to have someone who would develop the Trop site and pay off the old stadium debt.

We will know more on the 28th.

My mother-in-law says she intends to live to see the Devil Rays win the World Series ( and she is 80 ) :tongue:

She also a Packers fan ( well she from LaCrosse )

Brian26
11-22-2007, 12:46 PM
People complain about new Comiskey being built just before the retro craze - but that's nothing compared to the multi-purpose, artificial surface Skydome.

At least Skydome can be used for monster truck rallies now year round.
:dunno:

Fenway
11-22-2007, 12:58 PM
At least Skydome can be used for monster truck rallies now year round.
:dunno:

Rogers bought Skydome for something like 20% of its value.

It really is a cookie cutter...just has a roof

TheOldRoman
11-22-2007, 01:11 PM
Rogers bought Skydome for something like 20% of its value.

It really is a cookie cutter...just has a roofThey sold the ****ing thing for $25 million dollars! If I were a rich businessman, I would have bought the thing and made it my super-residence. You probably couldn't buy the land in downtown Toronto for anything near that. The city of Toronto came out REALLY bad in that deal, and it is probably used as an example by all groups opposing their city fund stadiums. Of course, nothing is worse than Stade Olimpique.

Frater Perdurabo
11-22-2007, 01:15 PM
The feeling down here ( in Largo for the holiday ) is that the dirty work has already been worked out. They appear to have someone who would develop the Trop site and pay off the old stadium debt.

We will know more on the 28th.

My mother-in-law says she intends to live to see the Devil Rays win the World Series ( and she is 80 ) :tongue:

She also a Packers fan ( well she from LaCrosse )

Are summer rain showers in St. Pete like those in the West Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Miami area? That is, it rains like crazy for half an hour or so during the afternoon, and then clears. Not a lot of wind, either. If so, this type of roof structure would be perfect: provide shade from the hot sun, keep most rain off the field, and allow baseball to be played during the evening hours, perhaps with a refreshing sea breeze.

Also, what direction would the wind generally blow upon that proposed field? It would seem to me that if it blew in, it could create an inbound jet stream that might help pitchers tremendously.

Nellie_Fox
11-23-2007, 12:32 AM
Are summer rain showers in St. Pete like those in the West Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Miami area? That is, it rains like crazy for half an hour or so during the afternoon, and then clears.Yes. It rolls in like clockwork every afternoon.

tick53
11-23-2007, 08:19 AM
Good! I hate watching games from Tropicana Field. That place sucks.

Fenway
11-28-2007, 10:01 AM
The SP Times say it will look "something" like this.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/17/images/TB_Raysdrawing_450.jpg
This drawing is based on the recollection of several people who have seen the team's version. Talks focused on the roof structure as well as the grass berms and stadium roof.
The official drawings will be released this afternoon at 2 PM

Looks like it will happen

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/

Chrisaway
11-28-2007, 10:09 AM
Garrrrr matey!!!!

Bump34
11-28-2007, 10:13 AM
Press Conference is set for 2:15pm EST... Ballpark will hold 34,000 people... with most of the seats on the lower level... It will have the smallest upper deck in baseball...

FedEx227
11-28-2007, 10:15 AM
The SP Times say it will look "something" like this.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/17/images/TB_Raysdrawing_450.jpg
This drawing is based on the recollection of several people who have seen the team's version. Talks focused on the roof structure as well as the grass berms and stadium roof.
The official drawings will be released this afternoon at 2 PM

Looks like it will happen

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/

http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/nl/oly703.jpg
"I'm BAAACK!"

Fenway
11-28-2007, 10:17 AM
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/nl/oly703.jpg
"I'm BAAACK!"

Well they are a lot of Quebec snowbirds in Tampa :tongue:

doublem23
11-28-2007, 11:10 AM
The SP Times say it will look "something" like this.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/17/images/TB_Raysdrawing_450.jpg
This drawing is based on the recollection of several people who have seen the team's version. Talks focused on the roof structure as well as the grass berms and stadium roof.
The official drawings will be released this afternoon at 2 PM

Looks like it will happen

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/


Grass berms? Pirate mast? The Rays must be getting their application ready to joing the Southern League... At least they can dominate their.

P.S., I love how they have to label the field this rendering... Do people in Western Florida really know that little about baseball?

http://alansnel.com/blog/uploaded_images/P1010912-718523.jpg
I totally dig this new stadium, but what the hell is this dirt diamond doing in the middle of the grass?

DSpivack
11-28-2007, 11:25 AM
It reminds me less of Stade Olympique than it does the roof of the Coliseum.

Fenway
11-28-2007, 11:56 AM
Good! I hate watching games from Tropicana Field. That place sucks.

Tough place to televise from.....Boston games are not too bad because people actually show up.

The Rays really tried to make it fan friendly but.

The fishtank in the outfield is 'interesting'
The FloridasBeach.com Rays Touch Tank opened in 2006, and is located just behind the right centerfield wall. Through a unique partnership with the Florida Aquarium, there are over 30 rays that fans can touch and feed throughout the game. The 10,000 gallon tank is one of the ten-largest in the United States. If a player hits a home run into the tank, then the organization will donate $5,000 to charity - $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium and $2,500 to the player's charity of choice.

The park is not in a good area of St Pete...you go a few blocks south and you are in some of the worst crack neighborhoods in Florida. It should have been built a few miles north near the Derby Lane greyhound track which would be an easier sell for Tampa residents ( they do not like coming over the bridge )

New park at AL Lang 'could' work. It would be near The Pier which is a nice tourist trap.
http://www.stpete-pier.com/

Hitmen77
11-28-2007, 12:06 PM
The SP Times say it will look "something" like this.


This drawing is based on the recollection of several people who have seen the team's version. Talks focused on the roof structure as well as the grass berms and stadium roof.
The official drawings will be released this afternoon at 2 PM

Looks like it will happen

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/

Interestingly, a vast majority of the readers posting comments about the new ballpark on this paper's website are totally opposed to it. A bunch of complaints about the heat/humidity for attending a game at an outdoor park. I understand it's an issue, but reading some of these comments makes me wonder why so many people move to Florida to begin with if they can't stand sitting outdoors on a summer evening.

http://itsyourtimes.com/?q=node/3343

Gosox1917
11-28-2007, 12:08 PM
The SP Times say it will look "something" like this.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/17/images/TB_Raysdrawing_450.jpg
This drawing is based on the recollection of several people who have seen the team's version. Talks focused on the roof structure as well as the grass berms and stadium roof.
The official drawings will be released this afternoon at 2 PM

Looks like it will happen

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/webspecials07/special_reports/new-ballpark/

That looks like the most rediculous thing I've ever seen. Why not just move the team to a city that will build an actual retractable roof instead of covering the place with a blanky. I will be amazed if they actually make that work. Won't those cables get in the way of balls in play? Goofiest thing ever.

Fenway
11-28-2007, 12:08 PM
Interestingly, a vast majority of the readers posting comments about the new ballpark on this paper's website are totally opposed to it. A bunch of complaints about the heat/humidity for attending a game at an outdoor park. I understand it's an issue, but reading some of these comments makes me wonder why so many people move to Florida to begin with if they can't stand sitting outdoors on a summer evening.

http://itsyourtimes.com/?q=node/3343

When I lived there one summer (1990) I would go to Florida State League games and it wasn't that bad....( once the nightly downpour was finished )

No way you could play in the afternoon however.

Huisj
11-28-2007, 12:18 PM
Where are the lights going to be? Wouldn't the tarps get in the way?

Seriously, those sketches make it look like something at a pirate-themed amusement park. Hopefully the real drawings they show later will look better.

SBSoxFan
11-28-2007, 12:29 PM
Where are the lights going to be? Wouldn't the tarps get in the way?

I think they're going to string Christmas lights on the underside of the tarps.

SBSoxFan
11-28-2007, 12:30 PM
Yes. It rolls in like clockwork every afternoon.

Just like the Minnesota snow. :D:

Fenway
11-28-2007, 01:05 PM
The park would be built here where the minor league park currently is

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/28/images/large/ray2.jpg

Fenway
11-28-2007, 01:35 PM
http://www.tampabay.com/2007/11/28/images/newballpark-400xshallow.jpg

Rays re-imagine downtown St. Pete (http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2007/11/rays-unveil-dra.html)

A modernistic, open-air ballpark with views of the bay and, yes, a sail. A makeover of the Tropicana Field site with affordable housing, retail stores and 14 acres of parkland. All of it, the Rays owners promise, with no new taxes.

Romano: Intriguing, and a long way to reality (http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2007/11/romano-your-own.html)

Fenway
11-28-2007, 02:01 PM
http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/Image/homepage_tbdr_image.gif

http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Upper%20Deck.jpghttp://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Pioneer%20Park.jpg
http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Site%20Plan.jpg

FedEx227
11-28-2007, 02:03 PM
Good god that's hideous.

sox1970
11-28-2007, 02:06 PM
Looks easy to tear down in 5-10 years.

FedEx227
11-28-2007, 02:08 PM
What are the ground rules if a ball hits the Spider Web?

Fenway
11-28-2007, 02:09 PM
Looks easy to tear down in 5-10 years.

One hurricane should do it. :?:

soxwon
11-28-2007, 02:25 PM
This proposed stadium, if built, instantly would catapult the Rays from having the worst stadiums to one of the best.

I Like the Juice Box.

PKalltheway
11-28-2007, 02:56 PM
All I can say is whoa...and not in a good way....:?:

Hitmen77
11-28-2007, 03:12 PM
One hurricane should do it. :?:

Looking at the drawings, my first reacton was to wonder how such a huge "canvas" could withstand strong winds. Since the park will be open-air, I'd imagine the structure would be subjected to alot of force during stormy periods. I'm thinking of umbrellas and how they can get ripped to shreds during a wind-driven rain. Any thoughts from any structural engineers out there?

Otherwise, interesting approach to not go with another "retro design". I like the idea that not every new park has to be a retro clone....of course, the challenge there is that they'll still want it to look good and have character. Here's what they say about the heat/humidity:

The Rays would play mostly night games in the stadium and would plan to keep the cover on during the afternoons to keep the temperature in the seating area down. Fans or misters would provide cooling, and some stadium areas possibly the concourses would be air-conditioned.

Team officials said with that technology and the breeze coming off Tampa Bay, the stadium would be relatively comfortable even without full air conditioning. The team has hired a climatologist who estimates it would be about 4 degrees cooler than the average temperature for a game in Atlanta, and on par with summer conditions in Kansas City and St. Louis.

http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2007/11/rays-unveil-dra.html

Fenway
11-28-2007, 03:25 PM
Team officials said with that technology and the breeze coming off Tampa Bay, the stadium would be relatively comfortable even without full air conditioning. The team has hired a climatologist who estimates it would be about 4 degrees cooler than the average temperature for a game in Atlanta, and on par with summer conditions in Kansas City and St. Louis.

That is actually a fair statement.

Pinellas County is the summer

7 AM 80

Noon 90-93

5 PM 93 and dark clouds. It will rain heavily somewhere in the county every single day. Chance of lightning 100%

7 PM clearing and it cools to 80

always the same

102605
11-28-2007, 04:29 PM
I like it!

ChiSoxGirl
11-28-2007, 09:46 PM
What the hell is that? :?: Regardless, it looks like I'll have another ballpark to visit, if for no other reason than to see that anomaly in person!

Fenway
11-28-2007, 11:18 PM
http://snap.tbo.com/images/photos/100038/2007/11/28/gallery/1798064.jpg (http://snap.tbo.com/pages/big_photo.php?mm=1798064&gallery=320694)

This will be the Rays new theme song
Let me sail, let me sail
Let the Orinoco Flow
Let me reach (javascript:void(0)), let me beach
On the shores of Tripoli
Let me sail, let me sail
Let me crash upon your shore
Let me reach, let me beach
Far beyond the Yellow Sea
De, de
De, de
De, de
De, de
De, de
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away

DeadMoney
11-29-2007, 12:30 AM
Rays re-imagine downtown St. Pete (http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2007/11/rays-unveil-dra.html)



From that article:
"My goodness, it's beautiful," said Gov. Charlie Crist, after a rendering of the stadium was unveiled.

:o:

Also, that thing looks SMALL! The article says it'll seat 34,000, which is small by MLB standards, but I was thinking more like 25-30,000 after seeing the pictures.

hsnterprize
11-29-2007, 01:19 AM
http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/Image/homepage_tbdr_image.gif

http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Upper%20Deck.jpghttp://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Pioneer%20Park.jpg
http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com/userfiles/image/57_Ballpark_Site%20Plan.jpg

I'm suprised I may be the only one thinking of Christopher Cross's 1908's hit song, "Sailing", as I'm looking at that picture. If Tampa's baseball team were named with some pirate connotation, you could call that place the "Pirate Ship".

Or...you could really get some good endoresements from the cruise industry...

I can see it now...Welcome to Carnival Cruise Park...or Royal Caribbean Stadium...or Norwegian Cruise Field...any more ideas?

Anyone imagining the ushers dressed like cruise workers like on the Love Boat?

ksimpson14
11-29-2007, 01:30 AM
I can see Rocco Baldelli in a sailor suit

Fenway
11-29-2007, 12:26 PM
The Tampa Tribune which is usually anti-St Pete ran this editorial today. They raise some concerns

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/nov/28/st-pete-should-take-pitch-or-two-swinging-rays-pro/?news-opinion-editorials

Drawings and computer-generated simulation reveal an impressive facility.
The ballpark would have a retractable fabric covering that would protect fans and players from rain and provide shade when needed. Although the ballpark wouldn't have air conditioning, the Rays, who hired a climate consultant, believe they can minimize the heat by playing mostly night games and incorporating eco-friendly measures in construction.
The setting would be intimate, invigorating and, more important, allow baseball to be played outdoors, where it should be.
But parking is a worry. The team says adequate parking is already available in the downtown area, which has about 12,000 spaces. Tropicana Field has about 7,000 spaces on site, but other adjacent lots are available.
City officials must do a rigorous analysis of parking. If it's a challenge for fans, the project is doomed to failure.

chisoxmike
11-29-2007, 12:31 PM
Those renderings can't be true. There are way too many people in the stadium. :tongue:

Fenway
11-29-2007, 12:32 PM
Those renderings can't be true. There are way too many people in the stadium. :tongue:

The Red Sox are in town :tongue:

soxfanatlanta
11-29-2007, 12:42 PM
The Red Sox are in town :tongue:


To that point: parking probably will not be a problem unless the Rays start winning. :smile:

soxfanatlanta
11-29-2007, 12:43 PM
I can see Rocco Baldelli in a sailor suit

Que up the Village People's tune In the Navy :redneck

Hendu
11-29-2007, 12:49 PM
I actually like it. I'm just glad that it's not another cookie-cutter 'retro' ballpark. Interesting concept.

Red Barchetta
11-29-2007, 05:59 PM
I like it too. Hopefully they will get the votes to pass it. Since moving to the SW Florida area, my biggest gripe is Tropicana Field and it's poor baseball atmoshphere.

Win or lose, I will attend more games if they build this park. I usually go to all the SOX games when they are in town (6 in 2008), plus go for the Red Sox and Yankees as well. I went to 10 games last year and although the Rays have some good young talent, they will never sell the Dome out unless they win 100 games.

If they do get this done, it's amazing that the Rays, who haven't had one season over .500 will have a new ballpark, while the Marlins, after winning two World Series, can't get the necessary support.

I guess it's all in the ownership....

Brian26
11-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Interesting drawings, but whether or not the pirate ship and fabric roof can withstand a Florida rainstorm is another question altogether.

oeo
11-29-2007, 10:40 PM
Actually looks pretty neat, I think. Hopefully it gets done.

GoSox2K3
11-30-2007, 03:44 PM
I don't have a problem with how it looks. If they can pull this off, I'll be glad that there will be one less awful stadium for the Sox to visit.

Fenway
11-30-2007, 03:55 PM
After keeping quiet for more than a year, the Tampa Bay Rays are putting out plenty of information about their proposed stadium and downtown redevelopment project. The team created a Web site, http://www.majorleaguedowntown.com, that includes renderings of the project , a virtual tour of the stadium, a time line, a list of public meetings, a section on frequently asked questions and a link for e-mail updates. And for anyone who wants to see the renderings in person (or doesn't have access to the Web), they will be on display at the Tropicana Field rotunda today and Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. To receive stadium info by mail, call 727-342-5777.

Fenway
12-01-2007, 12:46 AM
Knowing the market I really wonder about this plan.

I am not sure the location of the new park will help the Rays. It doesn't solve the biggest problem they face which is easy access from the Tampa side.

Will open air work? Maybe but fans never flocked to FSL games before the Rays came along.

Another problem is Pinellas County itself. Yes they have a lot of people but a good chunk of them are on fixed incomes and cutting coupons to get 2 for 1 dinners every night.

Of course the Rays have no choice but to deal with the City of St Pete as there is the matter of the lease which has 20 years to go so trying to jumpstart downtown St Pete is the only option that have right now. The reality is St Pete is still "God's Waiting Room" for a good number of the residents.

Finally for them to draw well they have to win and they couldn't be in a worst division in baseball to do so.

Red Barchetta
12-01-2007, 10:52 AM
Maybe I'm reading between the lines, however the ownership indicated that the design of the ballpark was supposed to maintain the rich St. Pete tradition of spring training baseball. Thus, the low capacity upper deck, etc.

Perhaps the long range plan would be to move the team into a new market and then maintain the new proposed stadium as the spring training facility for any future relocated team in the event the new ballpark does not draw fans throughout the summer season as predicted. That way, the owners could say we tried inside and outside to draw and Florida is not able to maintain a season long franchise. In return, they would get a kick-ass spring training facility...

DSpivack
12-01-2007, 11:07 AM
Maybe I'm reading between the lines, however the ownership indicated that the design of the ballpark was supposed to maintain the rich St. Pete tradition of spring training baseball. Thus, the low capacity upper deck, etc.

Perhaps the long range plan would be to move the team into a new market and then maintain the new proposed stadium as the spring training facility for any future relocated team in the event the new ballpark does not draw fans throughout the summer season as predicted. That way, the owners could say we tried inside and outside to draw and Florida is not able to maintain a season long franchise. In return, they would get a kick-ass spring training facility...

Move away and maintain St Pete as a training facility? That'd be awkward.

Red Barchetta
12-01-2007, 05:43 PM
Move away and maintain St Pete as a training facility? That'd be awkward.

That's what the current location/Al Lang field is. A spring training facility originally designed for the St. Louis Browns back in 1914.

If the new park opens in 2012 and let's say after 10 years, the Rays still don't draw, move the team out of Florida and keep the St. Pete ballpark for spring training.

DSpivack
12-01-2007, 08:43 PM
That's what the current location/Al Lang field is. A spring training facility originally designed for the St. Louis Browns back in 1914.

If the new park opens in 2012 and let's say after 10 years, the Rays still don't draw, move the team out of Florida and keep the St. Pete ballpark for spring training.

I know that Al Lang is currently a spring training facility, but if the Rays were to move out of St Pete, I would think it rather awkward to stay there for spring training. Not quite the same as the Ravens practicing in Cleveland or the Colts in Baltimore, but still rather odd.

Fenway
12-01-2007, 08:45 PM
The Rays BTW are moving spring training to Port Charlotte ( where Texas was ) about 100 miles south on I-75