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  • kps3205s

    I guess current ownership has reached a tipping point.

    I have to wonder if MLB is letting other cities know that they have a team willing to move? To keep them in the East they could consider Charlotte. I would also think New Orleans, Las Vegas, Indy and Nashville could be options. Which are also NFL cities.

    Going to be interesting.

  • pat4detroit

    Rays aren’t going anywhere. This is just a ploy to get the city of Tampa to build a new stadium.

  • PhoFever

    Just move them to Montreal, for crying out loud. Florida and baseball don’t seem to mix well.

  • kps3205s

    @pat4detroit said...

    Rays aren’t going anywhere. This is just a ploy to get the city of Tampa to build a new stadium.

    Easier said than done since negotiations have been going on officially for 3 years. Then let’s not go back to 2008 when there was a proposed deal for a new stadium then also.

    The city of Tampa didn’t renew the agreement at the end of 2018 for the city to still discuss opportunities to build a new stadium which is what locks the Rays into St. Petersburg at the Trop until 2027. Then add the Rays don’t believe the funding package for the $900 million project was feasible. Site wasn’t announced until early 2018, the county, Hillsborough, was saying the revenue would be generated by a zone investment that had no actual investors and Rays’ ownership would not disclose how much money they were willing to put towards the project.

    The Rays are entitled to half of the development rights, total acreage is 86 acres, at the Tropicana Field site which is worth a couple of hundred million in Pinellas County. Hillsborough County, where the stadium proposal was, offers a better situation to draw more fans. But, the Rays would lose the development rights back over at the Trop location if they relocate.

    Add now the state Senate here has been anti spending when it comes to tax dollars for new stadiums is an issue also. Then add 2 investors from Montreal are looking to become minority investors in the Rays and have an agreement in place with a developer to get a new stadium built in Montreal.

    IMHO as a Rays fan the writing is on the wall.

  • wolfjb1

    kps3205s, I agree, the writing is on the wall for the Rays. They won’t be there in 2028. Period. Where will they be, that’s the question.

    But MLB isn’t so quickly willing to abandon the entire state of Florida (or cede the state to the Marlins, who are irrelevant in Miami). I live in South Florida and it’s really depressing how people don’t care about baseball. Also the powers-that-be that don’t live in Florida don’t think logically about geography. In the Bay Area, people from Tampa won’t cross the causeway to get to a game. Here in South Florida, Broward and Palm Beach people won’t wage war on I-95 to get to Marlins games. Neither will people who live west, nor those who live south, down US1 south.

    MLB should really explore Orlando, but Disney would probably lobby against it, because they’re against anything that might result in a single dollar being spent anywhere other than in their parks. Which is stupid, because an MLB team and a theme park aren’t in competition, but Disney wields a powerful sword in Tallahassee. Having said that, my creative idea for MLB to keep the team in Florida is to either put the Rays in Jacksonville or add a second team here in South Florida, based in Palm Beach County. Not that anyone cares about my idea lol. Neither will happen (Jax is too small, the Marlins will not allow another team in their market), but with the population of Florida so large, the corporate money and fans are here. Jacksonville actually has a significant corporate presence for a city of its size.

  • kps3205s

    @wolfjb1 said...

    put the Rays in Jacksonville

    I live in Ponte Vedra and it won’t happen in Jax.

    The city can BARELY support the Jags at home. There were rumblings of allowing the Rays to play b2b 3 game series up here to see the response, which would sell out at the Jumbo Shrimp’s stadium in downtown Jax at 15k fans per game. The problem here is downtown is dead after 6 PM so a move to here wouldn’t work even with the corporate presence as most people commute in to work downtown. Add also they’re not going to convert TIAA Stadium temporarily for 6 games to see if they could get more butts in the seats,

    Now add you want the city to get involved with building a new stadium. They’re not willing to build the Jags a new stadium with a pro sports mayor like Lenny Curry, no chance for a baseball team.

    With the dynamics of how the divisions work and to keep them in the East I think it will be Montreal, Charlotte or Nashville. Montreal could be an outsider as they already have Toronto in the division which means they would have to shuffle a team out of the NL East, Washington possibly to get things straight.

  • BigRay

    This is typical scare tactics by the Rays. They are not leaving Pinelles County. Stu loves his money too much. The estimate on the money he gets from the Trop site is between 1 and 2 billion dollars. He originally wanted to build a site on Al Lang field in downtown st Pete but voters said no. Guess what? he owns that site now that he bought the Rowdies. Make it a much smaller Park about 18,000 and it might not be a tough sell to voters scared of losing the Rays.

  • BigRay

    Rays announcing something today at 1pm. .We will see what is the plan St. Pete plays as season opener followed by Montreal finishing it out.

  • wolfjb1

    @BigRay said...

    Rays announcing something today at 1pm. .We will see what is the plan St. Pete plays as season opener followed by Montreal finishing it out.

    Can’t wait to see what they announce. A privately funded ballpark is the way to go. The tide has turned publicly against stadiums being approved by voters. Maybe it’s unfair, maybe it’s smart (as a Florida taxpayer I can think of 11 million better ways to spend my money than on a ballpark), but to ask for a full-on publicly funded ballpark just isn’t realistic these days.

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