The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida, that competes in Major League Baseball. They are currently a member of the East Division of the American League. Since its inception, the team's home venue has been Tropicana Field. Following nearly three decades of unsuccessfully trying to gain an expansion franchise or enticing existing teams to relocate to the Tampa Bay area, an ownership group led by Vince Naimoli was approved on March 9, 1995. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play in the 1998 Major League Baseball season.