The Tampa Bay Rays have had one of the best starts in not only the franchise but MLB history. They are also drawing fans with their $10 ticket promotion that will be going on all season. The one dark cloud hanging over the franchise is its stadium. Look what happened with the Oakland Athletics who are having issues with their stadium. They just recently bought land in Las Vegas, Nevada which means they are moving to Vegas. It means the city of Oakland has lost every major sports franchise. The Athletics are very similar to the Rays in their payroll and fan bases. With both teams, only the die-hards show up. The Rays have been unable to get an agreement in place for a new stadium.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a lease with the city of St Petersburg, FL till 2027. We are now in crunch time as it can take up to two years to get a new stadium built. Mayor Ken Welch approved allowing the Rays to keep the Tropicana Field site. The biggest problem from what I heard from not only the fans, but local sports radio is that the problem is the location of the stadium. One of the other major factors is that there is only one place for pre-and post-game entertainment. If you look at most stadiums there are bars and restaurants for fans to eat and drink at. This is one of the biggest issues that I see why they should move the stadium. A fan must drive or walk nearly a mile to get to downtown St. Petersburg’s entertainment.
The update is that the plan has been made for the stadium and the other 86 acres the ballpark sits on. The plans may not start to go into effect until the end of 2024. That is critical when it comes to timing because if it goes past, it could be bad for the Tampa Bay Rays. The owner of the Rays, Stu Sternberg, hopes that a stadium deal should be done by the end of 2023. At this point, according to the city council, no one seems to be rattled. The talks have been going well between the city and the Rays. For the fans of the Rays, let’s hope it stays that way, or could the team be heading out of the city? This situation has been going on for about 15 years so let’s put it to bed.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been a team on the rise. They have been in two World Series. They have won many AL East titles. The fans have shown support for the team. It’s time for the Rays and the state of Florida to get the stadium deal done. In my opinion, I believe the Rays need to move to Tampa. Even if they keep the stadium where it is they need to build restaurants and bars be put in place. It also should not cost the taxpayers very much. I do not want the state of Florida to lose the Rays. Sternberg has seen what has happened in Miami with the Marlins. They built a new stadium, and they have a fan issue. The Rays are on the rise and could be World Series Champions soon.
Will the Tampa Bay Rays finally get a stadium done or are they moving out of state? Leave a comment below.
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