[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]