The Tampa Bay Rays have made many renovations to The Trop this offseason. In attempts to create a more intimate experience, they put together a project that, among other new areas to explore, includes the removal of the entire upper deck level; Around 6000 seats of the 300 level have been removed.
The Rays had a second-to-last attendance record last year at an average of 14,258, only behind the other Florida team in Miami (10,013). Players who have played on other teams in other cities have taken notice and spoken out about the fan base. Tommy Pham, a former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder said “It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all. That’s something that i miss”.
The Rays abandoned a project to build the new $892 Million stadium in the Ybor City area, that would have officially been the smallest stadium of the entire league. With the team hanging onto the city of tampa by a thread, Owner Steve Sternberg hopes this new project will help them build a stronger fanbase at Tropicana Field. A new area in left field named the Left Field Ledge will include a full service bar, tables, and seated drink rails. The flow was improved by the two main gates and new LED lights for the field. As for the season ticket holders in the 300 level deck will be relocated to lower seats.
By Diego Quintero