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Tampa Bay Rays back to square one in search for new stadium

The Tampa Bay Rays have been forced to restart their search for a new stadium after conceding that plans for an arena in Ybor City will not be finalised by this month’s deadline.

The Rays’ lease at St Petersburg’s Tropicana Field ends after the 2027 season and the Major League Baseball team are committed to move to a new stadium.

“We’ll continue to look in Tampa Bay and we’ll put our efforts to that,” Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said at the MLB winter meetings. “One way or another, we need to figure out where the team is going to be in 2028, if not sooner. Ideally sooner. But absolutely by 2028.”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said the league will not consider expansion until the Rays and Oakland Athletics get new ballparks, meaning the Rays’ delays will have a knock-on effect.

Sternberg and team president Brian Auld have no specific next step or site in mind for a stadium. “Everything is back on the table,” Auld said.