Sports News

Tampa Bay Rays seek new stadium

Tampa Bay Devil Ray Akinori Iwamura of Japan watches his solo home run in the fifth inning during their American League game against Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida April 6, 2007 REUTERS/Charles W Luzier

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Rays unveiled plans on Wednesday for a $450 million waterfront baseball stadium in downtown St. Petersburg to open in 2012.

The new 34,000-seater stadium would be built on the site of Al Lang Field, the American League team’s spring training park.

The Rays play their regular season games at Tropicana Field, a domed 43,000 seat stadium about a mile from downtown.

The new stadium would be open-air but would have a retractable fabric cover to shield fans from the sun and rain.

“This will be a unique progressive design,” Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said at a news conference at Al Lang Field.

Voters in St. Petersburg would have to approve the project in an election in 2008 and the Florida legislature will also have to provide some funds.

“This will not be an easy thing to do,” Sternberg said.

The Florida Marlins have been trying to get a new stadium in the Miami area for several years without success. The Marlins play at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, which is designed for football.

Editing by Trevor Huggins