The Rays are set to announce a deal for a new stadium in downtown St. Petersburg | Albiseyler

HOLY. PETERSBURG — The Rays are expected to make a major announcement Tuesday regarding the finalization of a deal to build a new stadium in downtown St. Petersburg.

The stadium would be built near the current site of Tropicana Field as part of the redevelopment of the 86-acre historic gas district and open for the 2028 season.

Based on preliminary information shared in January, the stadium is expected to have a fixed dome roof and artificial turf field, seat about 30,000 and cost more than $1.2 billion, with contributions from the team, St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg told the Tampa Bay Times on Sept. 8 that talks with the city and county are “moving along at a very nice pace” and that he is “very optimistic” about closing a deal by the end of the year.

He also said the team expects to “pay for half or more” of the stadium project and that the Rays have been talking to investors to contribute $600 million or more to the cost in exchange for stock in the team.

An artist’s rendering of the stadium design proposed by the Rays for the Tropicana Field site. (courtesy of Gensler)

The deal will give the team a new home after its 30-year lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027 and is expected to increase revenue through higher attendance and more sponsorship deals, which team officials say will allow them to improve facilities and increase player payroll.

It will also conclude a search that spanned 16 years and included proposed sites and projects on both sides of Tampa Bay. Although low attendance at Tropicana Field led the team to acquire the 2016 St. Petersburg permission to explore construction of a new stadium in Tampa and continued talks, never coming close to working out a financing package.

There was also a plan for the team to split home games between new outdoor stadiums in Montreal and Tampa, but Major League Baseball officials killed it.

The deal should also end speculation about the team moving to Nashville, Las Vegas or other similar cities.

Details of the Rays’ announcement are not yet available.

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