Since their inception in 1998, the Rays have played at Tropicana Field, the last remaining dome stadium in Major League Baseball. Although many fans prefer to watch baseball played outside, Tropicana Field keeps the summertime heat and humidity out, keeping fans cool. Over the past decade, the Rays have invested in making their stadium one of the best experiences for their fans. However, because Tropicana Field lacks many amenities of newer ballparks, the team continues to explore options of building a new stadium.
For over 10 years the Rays scouted multiple locations to construct a new ballpark around the metropolitan Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area. During this time numerous renderings and plans for a new ballpark were proposed but nothing was solidified. However, in September 2023 the Tampa Bay Rays and the City of St. Petersburg announced plans to construct a new ballpark adjacent to Tropicana Field. The Rays new ballpark will be built as part of a mixed use development on 86 acres within the Historic Gas Plant District. This development includes the ballpark, housing, retail, offices, a hotel and other components. The ballpark will seat approximately 30,000 fans and feature a fixed pavilion style roof with window beyond the outfield that can open. It will cost $1.3 billion with the Rays paying $700 million and the balance by the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Construction is expected to start in late 2024 and the ballpark will open in April 2028. Tropicana Field will be demolished once the new ballpark opens.