Rays announce series of CAPEX improvements and renovations for Tropicana Field
The Tampa Bay Rays announced a new series of capital improvements and renovations for Tropicana Field, featuring the reconfiguration of the ballpark’s seating capacity to an estimated 25,000–26,000.
The renovations at Tropicana Field are headlined by the creation of the Left Field Ledge—a new area in the lower seating bowl featuring premium seating for small groups and social spaces with views of the playing field—the installation of LED lights throughout the stadium and concourses, and the closure of the upper deck level.
Rays President, Matt Silverman, said:
These renovations mark our continued commitment to providing a first-rate fan experience at Tropicana Field. Together, in concert with the reduction in seating capacity, these investments will help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans.
The Rays have invested more than US$50m in Tropicana Field renovations since 2005, including more than US$15m in the last two years.
The 2019 capital improvements and renovations will upgrade fan amenities in the following ways:
- Offering more social gathering spaces with the creation of a new common area, the Left Field Ledge (formerly the tarped seats above the left field crosswalk) to include a full-service bar, ledge tables and seated drink rails
- Redesigning and enhancing two primary fan entrances (Gates 4 and 5) to improve the flow of fans through increased access points and way finding features
- Exchanging the current turf for a new Shaw Sports Turf product, designed to withstand the myriad events held at Tropicana Field throughout the calendar year
- Adding access from the Budweiser Porch and Ballpark & Rec areas to the Outfielder bar behind centre field as well as creating an external entrance to the food and beverage space
- Redoubling the organisation’s commitment to sustainable energy practices with the replacement of the existing field lights with energy-efficient LED lights, improving overall on-field playability and entertainment lighting throughout the ballpark
- Elimination of the upper deck level, which reconfigures the ballpark seating areas to include the first, mezzanine and second seating levels, as well as the new GTE Financial Party Deck, and concentrates fans closer to the field of play.
Another major change for 2019 is that Tropicana Field will become the first cash-free sports venue in North America. The move intends to cut the average transaction time in half at concession stands, team stores, the box office and anywhere else where money traditionally changed hands.
Images, courtesy: Tampa Bay Rays
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