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[Update: 10:00am] Marc Topkin confirms our speculation.

Among other potential improvements, the Rays have asked HOK to look at the possibility of a retractable roof at Tropicana Field, with a report, and cost estimate, due by late April.

[Wednesday] The St. Pete Times has an update on the Rays’ pursuit of a new stadium.

The group that is researching potential sites that could be a new home for the Rays is expected to have something to report on potential sites in June. In other words, in three months we won’t know much more than we do now about a new stadium for the Rays.

The snail’s pace of the group, “A Baseball Community” is not what caught our attention. Rather it was the revelation that another possibility is being explored by the Rays: Staying at The Trop.

The group said it also hopes to address the possibility of renovating the Rays’ current home, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The Rays hired stadium architect HOK Sport of Kansas City, Mo., to evaluate renovating Tropicana Field. A report could be available next month, Rays senior vice president Michael Kalt said Tuesday.

As many of you may know, HOK is the leading architectural firm in the country when it comes to building stadiums (my dad, a retired architect, worked for HOK for several years).

We have long heard that the site The Trop sits on is a potential home for a new stadium, but this is the first we heard that the Rays are considering a future in The Trop.

While no other details were provided, we have to believe that the only way the Rays would consider remaining in The Trop is if the stadium could be renovated as an open-air stadium or with a retractable roof. We just can’t see a team named after sunlight plaing in a domed stadium any longer than they have to.

Group may have something to report by June [St. Pete Times]

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8 Comments

  1. KyleS says:

    Do you have any idea if this would be something that could be completed within 1 offseason? My guess is 'probably not', and I can't seem to come up with any decent alternative sites.

    I'm sure that's a question that would be answered in the report though.

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    • My guess is that Raymond James would be the first choice but they will wait before even seeing if it is conceivable. It would probably take a temporary wall in either RF or LF that is akin to the netting used in the colliseum.

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  2. Gus says:

    With enough money, they could stage it so that it could be done in an offseason; Disney World, Legends Field or a temporary expansion of Port Charlotte is your contingency. Very doable.

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    • KyleS says:

      That wouldn't even be enough to accommodate existing season ticket holders though. They've been working too hard to build up the brand's respectability to just alienate the existing fanbase like that....don't you think?

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    • Joe D. says:

      No Way those Minor League Stadiums do!!! Even if you build temp bleachers all the way around the OF, what do you get, 17k-20k, not acceptable on most nights, not for the defending AL champs, even if were talking 2-3 years down the RD, this team should be a much bigger draw then what you can add to some Minor League field.

      I'm thinking Ray Jay or being in Orlando, I'd hope that Orlando might make a run at getting the Rays to the Citrus Bowl.

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  3. Jason W says:

    man why evryone hatin on the dome man?I like the dome

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    • J-Ray says:

      I am with you!

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    • Joe D. says:

      I like the Dome too. National Media (Like John Kruk) love to rip in to the dome and the catwalks every chance they get. Then you put a team that historiclly hasn't drawn good crowds, and has 10 straight losing seasons, and the stadium becomes the whipping boy.

      Now Last year in the playoffs, every one was talking about what a home field advantage the dome is to the Rays. That's just the way it goes...

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