Tampa Bay Rays expected to announce new stadium deal, helping clear path for MLB expansion

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he won’t consider expansion until after the Rays and A’s both have new stadiums.

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena reacts after hitting a single against the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

There are plenty of hurdles in the way of Salt Lake’s efforts to land a Major League Baseball team.

But it appears at least one of them will soon be cleared.

The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to a new stadium deal that will keep the team in St. Petersburg, Fla., according to the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. The $1.2 billion, 30,000-seat stadium would become the team’s home in 2028.

Members of the Big League Utah coalition will certainly be monitoring the happenings in Florida.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed interest in expansion — but only after both the Rays and Oakland Athletics have new stadium deals in place.

“I hope pretty shortly thereafter we would put together an expansion committee and start talking about the issues associated with expansion,” Manfred said earlier this year.

A vote on the A’s proposed move to Las Vegas is scheduled for November, the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week.

Big League Utah, a coalition led by Utah billionaire Gail Miller and her family, has been publicly campaigning for a Major League expansion team in recent months.

The group has identified a 100-acre parcel along North Temple in Salt Lake City as its preferred location for a future stadium.