If a newly-launched website is any indication, the Tampa Bay Rays are imagining in-depth feedback from fans in their search for a ballpark.
Dubbed BallparkReimagined.com, the site is an outlet for fans to submit ideas about what they would like to see in the ballpark. Prior to this announcement, there were signs that the Rays wanted to explore concepts that are not usually seen in the MLB ballpark planning process. For instance, the Rays have previously discussed some non-traditional seating options that would allow ticket holders to roam the ballpark and see the game from multiple vantage points, and have looked into adjacent development options that would make the ballpark a year-round destination. In sorting through these ideas, the Rays are hoping that the site will spark fan feedback. More from the Tampa Bay Times:
The Rays say they “are listening” and ask fans to pick up to three of eight “collective” ideas: year-round, intimate, organic, breathtaking, welcoming, cutting edge, icon and seamless.
“The next Rays ballpark will be a community asset, and we need to capture the community’s imagination to help create something we’re all proud to call home,” said Melanie Lenz, Rays senior vice president of strategy and development. “We invite fans to get involved, and we are listening to any and all ideas.”
Besides submitting their name and contact information, fans can suggest other ideas under “Community Collaboration” on the website. The team’s four vision principles guide the website: Providing a baseball experience like no other; building a defining icon for the region; creating a smart, sustainable and right-sized facility; and looking beyond baseball to activate the site year-round.
The team wants to build the “first next-generation ballpark that is an authentic, fan-forward community asset that will be the pride of Tampa Bay and the home of championships for generations to come. “
The website is coming at point where there are still many unknown variables relating to the Rays’ pursuit of a new ballpark. Perhaps the biggest question on the minds of many is the site. Pinellas County has thrown numerous locations into the mix, with the team already known to be exploring Snug Harbor, a 39-acre parcel on Gandy Boulevard. Possibilities are also on the table in Hillsborough County, with options in and around downtown Tampa likely on the table. Soliciting feedback is at least another way for the Rays to extend their community outreach as they work the process.
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