Rays President Dishes On Plans For Roof, Ticketing At Ybor Ballpark
Rays President Brian Auld last week "provided several new insights" into the team's plans for a new ballpark in Ybor City, including that "there will be a roof," according to Steve Contorno of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Auld said that the heat, summer afternoon rains and lightning "make it a necessity." The Rays are now "making the case" that it "might be in the best interest of the Tampa community for the roof to be retractable, and its application for baseball is secondary." Meanwhile, the Rays "aren't interested in building a massive ballpark." Auld said that it is "unlikely" that the team will "need an upper deck." That portion of the ballpark is the "most expensive part" to build that "yields the least profitable returns." Auld: "There will not be a what I would call a traditional upper deck that wraps around the field. Behind home plate, that's the best place to watch a game so some amount of verticality there is something we're looking into pretty deeply." Additionally, the team has "toyed with selling tickets that get you into different parts" of the ballpark at different points of the game, which is being seen as its "most controversial" of ideas to MLB. The team also "wants to reinvent" ballpark seating, which has "had virtually the same layout for most of the 20th and 21st century." Auld said that the team "shared these ideas with the league." Auld: "They're skeptical." Auld added, "The seating one in particular is a challenge for physics to be able to get the amount of seats you need in a reasonable amount of space. But I'm in love with it" (TAMPABAY.com, 3/9).