Developer unveils plan for new Tampa Bay Rays stadium

Saturday September 29th, 2012

A developer unveiled plans for a new 35,000 seat stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. (Image courtesy of Echelon LLC/Tampa Tribune)

A developer unveiled plans to build a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, reports The new stadium would have a retractable or fixed roof.

The plan for the 35,000-seat ballpark was developed by Echelon LLC, doing business as CityScape LLC. Echelon president David LeClair controls about 12 undeveloped acres in the business park, which is near the west end of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

The plan cites Carillon's location and demographics as the "epicenter of Tampa Bay."

"One place meets the criteria," LeClair said. "Carillon is basically equidistant from downtown Clearwater, downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa."

Estimated costs for the stadium range from $540 million to $577 million for retractable roof and fixed-roof stadiums and $424 million for an open air stadium. Both would include roughly 1.6 million square feet of office, retail and hotel space.

The Rays currently play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where the Rays have played since their inaugural season in 1998. It is annually voted one of the worst stadiums in the United States and can seat up to 42,000 people. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has said he wants to move the team from Tropicana Field before its contract expires in 2027.  The Rays also said they will consider other stadium sites throughout the Tampa area.

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