The Tampa Bay Rays intend on building a new stadium in the historic Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City. If executed, Tampa's MLB team would move their ballpark out of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and into their home city.

Rays principal owner, Stuart Sternberg, made the official announcement on Friday at a press conference. As reported by The Tampa Bay Times, Sternberg proudly shared "Ybor City is authentically Tampa Bay," and "This is where we want to be playing baseball."

It will take some time for the relocation to genuinely develop, but this proclamation officially begins the process.

The estimated timetable for execution is roughly five years.

One of the most crucial steps the organization must take is raising the proper funds to fund the project. Providing a much-needed jumpstart for the project's capital demands is the non-profit organization Tampa Bay Rays 2020.

Non-profit organization Tampa Bay Rays 2020 Movement

According to their website, their mission is to be "the catalyst that will ensure the ballpark becomes a reality. America’s favorite pastime needs a home for generations to come in one of the country’s fastest-growing cities."

The team behind the movement is Sykes Enterprises President and CEO Chuck Sykes, Tampa attorney Ron Christaldi and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan.

The endorsement of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn validates the legitimacy of the organization and their serious mission.

Following the announcement, Buckhorn said “This is an exciting day for Tampa and more importantly a great day for our region. I look forward to working with Stu [Sternberg] and others across the region to ensure this dream of a downtown ballpark becomes a reality.”

What do The Rays have to do next to make the move to Ybor City happen?

Sports Illustrated's Jenna West confirmed the Rays still do not know how much funding the team would need to construct a new ballpark.

However, Sternberg did mention before the team may contribute $150 million towards the project's $800 million budget.

It will definitely take some time for the project to seriously develop because there are still plenty of obstacles in the way. For example, the city and team still need to figure out how they are going to divide the expenses between one another.

According to ESPN, the Rays 15,760 average home game attendance in 2017 was the lowest among the league. It will be difficult for the franchise to pay a significant portion of the bill if they continue to struggle with ticket sales.

Trading away their premier franchise player Evan Longoria this off-season to the San Francisco Giants will probably not help the cause as we head into 2018. The Rays are not expected to be competitive in the AL East this season after a busy off-season for the New York Yankees, while the Boston Red Sox remain a powerful division rival.

It's a rough time for Florida baseball, as even the Miami Marlins are running a fire-sale after selling their organization to the Derek Jeter led ownership group.

The Marlins next move is reported to be a trade shipping catcher J.T. Realmuto elsewhere for cash relief and much-needed prospects.

Some Marlins fans have even abandoned the team after this deflating winter. Now could be the time for the Tampa Bay Rays to really grow a larger fan base as they build a new home.

What fans and prospective supporters can do to help the baseball team build their new home is visit the Tampa Bay Rays 2020 website for more info or send an e-mail to

What can we expect from The Rays front office moving forward?

Similar to what most professional sports teams do when a planned movement is set to occur, they will begin to dump their payroll salary.

The Rays probably knew they were going to get the approval to move to Ybor City soon, so they had to get rid of Longoria's expensive salary.

The small market team cannot afford large chunks of their payroll budget going to one player at this time. Any players making close to a $1 million in salary now can be considered on the trade market. In return, the Rays will want cash considerations and cheap prospects.

This will continue until the Rays have enough funds to start the construction project. This means fans should not expect the front office at least to focus on winning titles anytime soon. One can assume the players will continue to play to win as many games as they can.