Examining current stadium situations for A’s and Rays

Here’s a stat that always blows my mind: Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, is the third oldest ballpark in the National League. It opened in 1995 and only Wrigley Field (1914) and Dodger Stadium (1962) have been around longer in the Senior Circuit. How did that happen? Didn’t the Rockies join the league like last week? Good gravy.

Anyway, baseball’s stadium boom has seen 16 of the 30 current ballparks open this century, and in all likelihood two new ballparks will open within the decade. The Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays are actively working to secure new stadiums and both are desperately needed. RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg are not fit for major league franchises.

“Both Oakland and Tampa need new facilities. It’s kind of beyond debate at this point,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in October. “Oakland is probably critical, just in terms of the condition of the ballpark. Whatever you want to say about Tampa, it’s playable for right now and they have a lease that goes through 2027. Oakland’s in a critical situation. We need to find a way to get new ballparks built in those two cities or — particularly in the case of Oakland — we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations just because it’s dragged on so long.” 

As the commissioner noted, the Rays’ lease at the Trop runs through the 2027 season. They have some time to figure out their long-term ballpark situation. The A’s situation is a bit more dire. Their lease at the Coliseum runs only through 2024. Considering how much time is needed to plan and actually build a stadium, they have to figure it out their ballpark situation soon.

Author: Lucy Green