It's no secret that the Tampa Bay Rays need to make some changes and make their games more appealing to fans. As far as game attendance goes, the Rays' have the second to worst numbers in the league- they see an average of 14,258 fans per day. (Another FL team, Miami Marlins, has the worst attendance with 10,013). With Tropicana Field currently built to seat 31,042, it can feel pretty empty most nights, despite already having the lowest capacity in the MLB.
To solve this problem, the Rays plan to cut the capacity by over 5,000. They hope this move will provide a more intimate experience that benefits both the team and fans. The upper deck will be entirely eliminated, with seating on the first level, mezzanine, and second level only.
Rays President Matt Silverman said in a news release, "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."
Seating capacity isn't the only change coming to the Trop moving forward. Here are some other proposed changes:
- New social spaces like the Left Field Ledge
- Improved flow at Gates 4 and 5
- Added access from the Budweiser Porch and Ballpark & Rec areas to the Outfielder bar in center field, and addition of an external entrance to the food and drink area
- Installation of a new Shaw Sports Turf, and LED lights in the stadium and concourses.