The Rays want to leave Tropicana Field for a modern ballpark in Tampa.

By Jenna West
February 09, 2018

The Rays have officially announced plans to move the team's home ballpark to Tampa.

At a press conference Friday, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said the team intends to move to a site in Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa. 

"Ybor City is authentically Tampa Bay," Sternberg said, according to The Tampa Bay Times. "This is where we want to be playing."

The team currently plays at Tropicana Field, which is across the Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg.​

Ybor City is located within Tampa's Hillsborough County. The Rays will focus on narrowing down the new stadium's exact location across a 14-acre site. 

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Despite deciding on a Tampa address, the Rays still don't know how much money it will take to build the new ballpark. Sternberg said last November that the Rays might contribute $150 million to the proposed $800 million budget needed for the project.

There are still a number of obstacles to the Rays moving into a new stadium. The team and city would still need to agree how to divide the bill for a new ballpark. 

The Rays notoriously suffer from poor ticket sales and attendance, prompting their search for a new stadium. They were last in attendance in Major League Baseball in 2017, according to ESPN, averaging only 15,670 fans per home game. They have played in Tropicana Field since their inaugural season in 1998, when they debuted as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

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