Contractor Mortenson will construct a $1.3-billion ballpark for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays, a project set to anchor billions in further development in the Gas Plant neighborhood of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Plans call for work to start on the public-private partnership in January and finish in time for Opening Day in spring 2028. The city council still must complete project approval, with a July 18 meeting set. Its agenda includes an overview of the project and approval of resolutions related to multiple development agreements. 

One resolution includes a vote on Skanska Building USA as owner’s representative for the Historic Gas Plant project and the new ballpark, along with selection of Populous as architect; Mortenson as construction manager at risk; and Finfrock Construction as design-builder.

The stadium will be funded with $770 million from the Rays, $312.5 million from Pinellas County and $287.5 million from St. Petersburg, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which says the team will also be responsible for any cost overruns. 

In a May 30 announcement of updated renderings, the Rays said the roughly 30,000-seat ballpark will feature a three-deck design with variety of seating types—including premium clubs and suites, flexible viewing areas, decks and social gathering spaces. 

Each concourse will have a view of the field, with park and fan amenities to include an aquarium feature as a successor to the popular Rays Touch Tank Experience at the team’s current home since 1990, Tropicana Field. 

“Our ballpark will be the most intimate and inviting in the sport,” said Rays President Matt Silverman, adding that it is “designed to bring our fans as close to the field as possible, to create a distinctive, compelling game experience.” 

Taking cues from a pavilion design, the new stadium will feature a fixed roof, large wrap-around windows and porches that play a key role in the stadium design, the team said.

Harkening back to the integral social role of porches in the Gas Plant neighborhood and across St. Petersburg, the front porch of the ballpark will open to a main plaza that will serve as a community gathering space in the historic district—a much larger development planned in the area, for which the ballpark serves as a central feature. 

The city announced last September the $6.5-billion Historic Gas Plant District development plan to revitalize 86 acres of the neighborhood surrounding Tropicana Field over the next 20 years.

Houston-based developer Hines is leading the Hines Historic Gas Plant Partnership project, with the goal to revitalize the city's historic African American neighborhood, which was displaced when Tropicana Field was built.

In addition to the ballpark, the development will include roughly 8 million sq ft of development, with more than 5,000 residential units, 600 affordable housing units on-site with 650 more elsewhere in the city, 1.4 million sq ft of office and medical space and 750 hotel rooms.