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Group: Any new Rays ballpark needs retractable roof

The citizens group plotting the future of a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark has another key recommendation: Any new facility must have a retractable roof.

This recommendation should be no surprise to anyone closely following the situation, but it's nice to see the citizen group A Baseball Community, charged with plotting the future of a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark, come right out and say the facility should be state of the art, with a retractable roof, wide concourses, and more.

The recommendations are actually fairly specific: the new ballpark should seat around 37,000, have wider-than-normal seats with personal storage space, and be located close to light rail and mass transit — which is not exactly in abundance in the greater Tampa Bay area, much less St. Pete. And while there are a few instances of teams putting in seats allowing more personal space for fans — like the Los Angeles Dodgers did with the premium seats in Dodger Stadium — it's not a trend that's making a huge amount of headway in these economically troubled times.

Still, it's nice to see someone demanding the highest quality on the front end — at least before the value engineering sets in, anyway.

Next up for the group: a recommendation on where the new ballpark should be located.

RELATED STORIES: Group: Renovating Trop isn't option in keeping Rays; Rays task force may have prelim recommendations by June — but no site; Rays propose Carillon Town Center site for ballpark

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