Remember there are only 30 Ballparks where Major League Baseball is played and this non-retractable domed ballpark is one of them. Unfortunately, a new Ballpark is long overdue. A great option for snow birds to catch games in April.
April 8, 2005: St. Petersburg, Florida
For the second leg of our Sun Belt Ballpark Tour, Mike and I drove 240 miles northwest along Florida’s Alligator Alley to St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Devil Rays make their home in Tropicana Field, built in 1990 to attract a Major League franchise to Florida’s west coast. Three teams, the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, and San Francisco Giants leveraged a possible move to St. Petersburg against their respective cities to obtain a new stadium deal. These moves left St. Petersburg still without a Major League Baseball team. Tropicana Field, then known as the Suncoast Dome, was used for concerts, Arena Football, and hockey; the Tampa Bay Lightning set an NHL playoff attendance record while playing in the Dome. The success of these events, along with the tradition of minor league and spring training baseball in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, was enough to establish the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as an expansion franchise. They would take the field for the 1998 season. [Read more…]