TAMPA, Fla. -- So if they build it, will people come?
- Tampa Bay Rays release renderings, dynamics of Ybor City stadium
- Ballpark to have translucent roof, $892 million price tag
- Tampa Bay Rays 2020
For the Rays to get their newly unveiled $900 million Ybor City stadium built, community support will be key.
People in the Ybor area on Tuesday who got a glimpse of the renderings of the stadium had a variety of responses. Some said it resembled Tropicana Field while others called it a "beautiful idea" but still had a host of questions.
The top question? Who's going to pay for it.
Some are alredy calling it Raybor City but team president Brian Auld is cautious and optimistic the facility can get done and blend in to the fabric of the Ybor community.
"What we want everyone to focus on is that we have elected officials, community member, business leaders, all very intent on figuring out a way for this to happen," Auld said. "And the organization and our owners certainly feel the same way so we're optimistic."
Among the most surprising revelations announced by Rays team officials and architectural firm Populous Tuesday was that the proposed facility would not have a retractable roof.
Instead, the ballpark would have a "fixed, translucent" roof, along with sliding glass walls, open spaces along a brick facade to integate into the Ybor community.
The 900,000-square-feet stadium will squeeze into 14 acres along the Ybor edge near Channelside. The intimate ballpark will seat 28,216 with an expandable 30,842.
Fans had a variety of responses to the stadium:
"Beautiful. I think the concept is beautiful," said Rays fan Sydney Buffalo.
Said Rays fan Charles Mitchell "I think it's beautiful. I think the stadium is beautiful."
Ken Kvalagim: "I think it's fabulous, especially the location with everything that's happening in this area, it's exciting."
People are also calling the location a home run for potential development as well as the proximity to Ybor's many nearby bars and restaurants.
Now comes the money part.
It will take a team effort from the Rays, the public, government officials and corporate leaders to put together a financing package that would ideally have first pitch in Ybor by 2023.
A group of business leaders called Tampa Bay 2020 has already been working to build corporate support.
"I don't know whether the city has the money," Sydney said. "I don't know whether or not we can even afford it or not but the challenge of it is going to be interesting, i think it's going to be interesting."