Tropicana Field Renovation Plans Feature Walkway Around Lower Bowl, Standing Areas
The Rays yesterday unveiled renovation plans for Tropicana Field, including the "creation of a 360-degree walkway around the lower bowl, an open air meeting spot in centerfield and smoother access from the rotunda entrance to the seats," according to a front-page piece by Stephen Nohlgren of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The renovation includes the "removal of about 3,000 seats, mostly to make room for the walkway." Drink rails will "allow people to meet on the walkway, while watching the action." The centerfield restaurant area will "connect directly to the Captain Morgan party deck in leftfield, and a new mingling area in rightfield, overlooking the rays tank." Rays Senior VP/Development & Business Affairs Michael Kalt said, "This project will significantly improve the total ballpark experience. It will make it much easier for our patrons to navigate the ballpark." Nohlgren reports several rows of seats that remain above the leftfield walkway "will be covered by tarps because views are likely to be obstructed by standing fans." A "few hundred more upper-deck seats also will be tarped, with stadium capacity dropping from more than 34,000 to 31,000." Kalt said that those upper deck seats "rarely sell." He added that the renovations, expected to cost nearly $750,000, "do not signal retrenchment from the team's desire for a new ballpark" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/4). The Rays partnered with architectural firm Populous for the renovations (MLB.com, 12/3).
IN DA CLUB: In Ft. Worth, Monica Nagy reports Arlington City Council members last night approved a proposal for $4M in upgrades at Rangers Ballpark, including "renovations to its Diamond Club, and seating, lighting and escalators." Remodeling is slated for completion by the March 31 season opener. The Rangers "will provide funding, project management, design and planning services." The entities involved in the project include the MLB team, the Arlington Convention Center Development Corp., Manhattan Construction, Metroplex Sportservices, American Seating, Sports Venue Signs and KONE (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/4).