It seems like the Tropicana Field stadium issues may have some sort of resolve. Although nothing is of course guaranteed and regardless of what happens there’s still a long road ahead. Progress has been made before and nothing happened in the Tampa Bay Rays favor. Is this a potential bigger breakthrough in the Rays stadium situation? Let’s look and find out.
Ken Hagan, who is the county commissioner of Hillsborough County, may have some land available. This land isn’t located in St. Petersburg where Tropicana Field is, but rather Ybor City which is closer to Tampa Bay. This land appears as if it’s not too far from Amalie Arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning play. This land that Ken Hagan has purchased would go towards a new Rays stadium.
There’s positives and negatives to this situation. Let’s look first at the potential positives to making this move. The most obvious one is that the Rays are dead last in attendance numbers and can’t stay in Tropicana Field permanently, they have to do something and this would make them move. Another potential a new stadium designed however the Rays want. Next, that’s an area that offers more things to do like restaurants and it’s right on the water. It’s a popular area of course especially on Spring Break. The Rays stadium there could cause more business there. Finally, public transportation is readily accessible and available.
The negatives for the area is it is crowded, leaving no room for places to park because of the lack of land available. The Rays are also stuck in a Tropicana Field lease and therefore would have to pay a significant amount of money to move. Finally, residents taxes would increase as the Rays would have to build a new stadium.
From a fan’s perspective, I’m optimistic but still cautiously optimistic. I think the Ybor City location is a better place than where the stadium is currently located. The franchise has to do something but the current situation needs to change. Then it will follow talks of relocating to a different city potentially if something doesn’t get done. However, I’m just not sure if taxpayers are going to want to pay the taxes for a new ballpark. Also, would the Lightning owner, Jeff Vinik, try to own the Rays if they were at the new location since he owns part of that area? There’s still many questions left to be answered.
Like I said there’s always a potential that nothing happens with this but there is a sense of optimism in Pinellas County where the land is located. The Rays did make a statement saying that they’re excited about the potential move to a different county. Hopefully by December there are new developments on this story to report. Keep following Six Man Rotation for more Tampa Bay Rays stadium coverage.
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