Less is more? Rays to close upper deck, reduce capacity to about 25,000

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - The Tampa Bay Rays are entering the New Year with a "less is more" attitude.

The team says it's eliminating more than 5,000 seats at Tropicana Field to give fans a more "intimate" experience, according to a news release. 

A renovation plan unveiled Friday includes a premium seating section in the lower level. The upper deck will be closed, reducing the capacity at the stadium to about 25,000 to 26,000. This is approximately "10,000 seats smaller than capacity at any other stadium in the major leagues," ESPN.com reports.

Previously, the seating capacity for Tropicana Field was listed as 31,042.

"These renovations mark our continued commitment to providing a first-rate fan experience at Tropicana Field," Rays President Matt Silverman said in a news release. "Together, in concert with the reduction in seating capacity, these investments will help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans."

The Rays ranked next to last in the majors in attendance last year, averaging 14,258 fans per game. 

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