Originally built exclusively for baseball, Tropicana Field has expanded to accommodate 16 other sports and competitions, including hockey, football, basketball, sprint car racing, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, ping-pong, karate, weightlifting, motorcycle racing, equestrian competitions, figure skating and track events. Tropicana Field has been honored with setting attendance records in a number of sports, including hockey and football. The AFL's Tampa Bay Storm set each of it's records here, including the biggest single-game attendance record of 28,746. In addition, Davis Cup tennis drew a record setting crowd of 53,150 fans attending over a three-day competition. In 1990, the NBA's Chicago Bulls competed against the Seattle SuperSonics in an exhibition game held at Tropicana Field. A crowd of 25,710 fans attended, which was recorded as the largest attendance ever for a basketball game in Florida. In 1994, that record was broken when 26,102 fans attended the 1994 first-round NCAA Regionals and then once again in March 1998 as 40,589 fans packed in for the NCAA Regional and semifinal games. The largest of all crowds, however, appeared not at a sporting event, but at a New Kids On The Block concert in August 1990. A cheering crowd of 47,150 fans packed Tropicana Field to see the popular boy group prove they had 'The Right Stuff.
With such a large audience base for a number of sports, Tropicana Field officials decided that it was time for a renovation project in 1996. In October of that year, the doors were closed as the facility underwent a 17-month, $85 million transformation, which included the addition of dining, shopping and an entertainment complex, along with an extra 319,000 sq. ft. of space.
Baseball fans find Tropicana Field to be particularly enjoyable. Behind the backstop, the seats are a mere 50 feet from home plate, which earns them the title of being some of the closest seats in the major leagues. Another amenity at Tropicana Field is the 900ft. Tropical ceramic mosaic walkway, known as SunSations, which is the largest outdoor ceramic mural in Florida and one of the five largest in the country. Fans visit Tropicana Field for it's beautiful location, ideal landscaping, wide array of competitions and events. Whether their passion be sports or entertainment, this facility has it all.