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Ybor City ballpark still option for Rays: Developer

Tampa Bay Rays Ybor City ballpark rendering 8

Developer Darryl Shaw says the Tampa Bay Rays are still interested in a new Ybor City ballpark, as he prepares a master plan for a development at the northeast corner of Adamo and Channelside drives in Tampa.

The ballpark site is right on the edge of Ybor City, with the Selmon Expressway, the Channel District and the 50-acre Water Street development to the south, and easy access to downtown Tampa to the west. Shaw has put together a 30-acre site and says he’ll include a Rays ballpark in his planning, saying that he’s had discussions with the team this year about a new facility.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg is floating an operating scenario where the Rays would play half of the season in Tampa Bay and the other half in Montreal, taking advantage of good weather in both locales and mitigating the need for covered ballparks. (The last Rays pitch for a new ballpark called for a covered facility, as shown in the above rendering.) With their lease to Tropicana Field running through 2027 and St. Petersburg officials not budging from that commitment, the Rays are currently looking to implement the split-season scenario come 2028–which fits within Shaw’s development timeline. From the Tampa Bay Times:

“Likely it will be post-2027 unless they could work something out with St. Petersburg,” Shaw said. “I hope baseball does come here. I think it would be good for Tampa. I think it’d be good for Ybor City.”

A decision on the site would have to be made in the next few years to leave time for construction, Shaw said. The master plan could take 18 months or more to produce.

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