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Should the Rays Stay at The Trop?

The Tampa Bay Rays say they need a new stadium. St. Petersburg officials say the team is contractually obligated to remain at Tropicana Field for another 14 years. What do you think should happen, Tampa Bay?

It’s a brouhaha that’s been brewing in the Tampa Bay area for years: The Tampa Bay Rays say they need a new stadium. The City of St. Petersburg holds a contract that says the Major League Baseball team is obligated to play at Tropicana Field through the year 2027.

Even so, the Rays haven’t been quiet about their perceived need for a newer, better stadium. A few years back, they floated the idea of building a new stadium on St. Petersburg’s waterfront. That idea was nixed in the court of public opinion.

Now, team officials are planning to meet with both the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Commissions. The Hillsborough meeting, which will be open to the public, is set up for Jan. 24. The meeting with Pinellas officials takes place Jan. 29.

Officials from Hillsborough County are saying the meetings are meant to simply open regional dialogue with the team. Pinellas is indicating the same thing. This is despite the fact that new stadium locations have been scouted by the team and include spots in both counties – outside the city of St. Pete, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The Trop was built with funding from St. Petersburg and Pinellas County with some help from the state. The overall cost of building and maintaining the stadium is anticipated to rise to $323 million by the year 2016, according to a story published in the Times in 2008. The original cost was set at $85 million.

While it’s too soon to tell what the Rays hope to gain from talking to the two counties, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is clear on one thing: “As long as the first pitch isn’t before 2028, they can talk about anything they want,” the Times reported him as saying.

What do you think Tampa Bay? Do you agree with Mayor Foster? Should the Rays have to play at the Trop through 2027? Or, do you think it’s time for the team to move on to greener pastures? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Dawn Robinson January 17, 2013 at 11:03 PM
I agree 100%
MirrorLakeMan January 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM
First of all, it's not about what the fans want. Whether or not the Rays stay, will only be decided by the owners and the monied top percent. Considering how players are traded and moved around, all fans should realize that it's just a game and every team consists of an incestuous bunch of overpaid athletes. More power to them if they can dupe such salary from the fans; just to play a game. Of course it's big business. But any fan who feigns allegiance to the Rays should reconsider why they feel such allegiance. Every team is a "mutt" of every other team. Plus, if the Fenway, after all these years, can still house their team in the same stadium, then how petulant of St. Petersburg to want a new stadium on a capricious whim? Trop is fine for now. If you're ready for the higher ticket prices that will come with a new stadium, go ahead. Plus, having a stadium in a urban area, is much more desirable than going out into a field in the middle of nowhere. Toytown will be an oasis for the fools who want to pay 7 dollars for a hotdog, $10 for parking, while being gouged for every other overpriced commodity because there's no other place to go. The owners will have the fans where they want them. The stadium that we have now, allows people to quickly and easily go into town before or after the game and do other activities; sober up before leaving town, and save tons of money; not to mention helping the community financially. Keep the Trop where it is until the contract ends!
Concerned Floridian January 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Indeed. A nicely rounded reality pill.
Bob Doyle SR February 08, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Let the RAYS & MARLINS swap cities. Miami fans deserve a winning Baseball franchise. Saint Petersburg/Pinellas County can help the Tampa Bay Area fans grow a new fanbase from the area. WinWinWin.
michael mirra February 08, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Does Bob dolye SR live in Miami? Wh had a half baked team for long enough. Now they are Champinship calber. Instead of complaining about them wanting a new stadium, lets just go to a couple of games a year. If each Rays fan went to two games a year, they woiuldn't be talking about needing to find a more lucretive stadium location. That's the whole issue. It's all about attenence. It is expensive, but when they are the team of another city, people will wish they went to a game, or two when they had the chance. I feel for the young children that are growing up as Rays fans because when I was twelve, my team up & moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

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