The idea of building a new baseball stadium arose in 1983, when the city wanted to draw a major professional franchise (while NFL and soccer teams were already operating in nearby Tampa).

Construction was launched in 1986, when the city had no clarity as to whether any team would actually come.  This proved very problematic over time, because the first home game for key tenants Tampa Bay Rays came as late as 1998, 8 years after opening. Even more controversially, some $70 million had to be invested into remodeling of then-8yo stadium that had cost $130 million in 1990.

Major League Baseball’s latest franchise settled in the league’s last remaining dome and also one of the smallest stadiums throughout MLB. Use of a domed roof was considered adequate though, because humid and hot weather with frequent storms would have influenced the game greatly in open air.

Capacity: 42,735

Tenant: Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)    East–West Shrine Game (NCAA)




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