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Fenway
02-03-2011, 02:41 PM
This is the team that is in play to move as the A's almost certainly will wind up in San Jose

Rays' stadium saga on forefront of Tampa mayoral debate (http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/story.aspx?storyid=172532)

Overview

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=115999

They are having a BIG problem selling tickets this year as they not only increased ticket prices, they re-classified other sections.

One senior citizen saw her seats jump from $3,598 for two tickets last year to $5,946 in 2011. The $2,348 hike represents a 65 percent jump.

IMHO these prices are just too high for that market, there is no $$$ there.
http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/tb/ticketing/seating_pricing.jsp

Lip Man 1
02-03-2011, 02:42 PM
Oh well. Stuff happens. Let em' move. It was a mistake to put a team there in that dump of a stadium in the first place.

Lip

DumpJerry
02-03-2011, 03:40 PM
With their poor attendance, what is the incentive to buy a season ticket package? Do you get to have dinner with Evan Longoria at his home?

ewokpelts
02-03-2011, 05:25 PM
Oh well. Stuff happens. Let em' move. It was a mistake to put a team there in that dump of a stadium in the first place.

Lipall the more reason why we should be glad the sox never moved there.

Foulke You
02-03-2011, 05:38 PM
One senior citizen saw her seats jump from $3,598 for two tickets last year to $5,946 in 2011. The $2,348 hike represents a 65 percent jump.

IMHO these prices are just too high for that market, there is no $$$ there.
http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/tb/ticketing/seating_pricing.jsp
Why would they raise prices that much in an offseason that saw many of their best players leave via free agency? Not to mention that they were already having trouble selling tickets BEFORE the players left. It just seems like they are fleecing the few loyal fans that they have to make up their margins.:?:

Fenway
02-03-2011, 05:49 PM
all the more reason why we should be glad the sox never moved there.

MLB was never big on Tampa Bay as a market going back to Peter Ueberroth who flat out told St Pete - DON'T BUILD IT - It won't work at that location.

It really is a strange area - St Pete might as well be Orlando as far as the Tampa side is concerned.

GlassSox
02-03-2011, 06:13 PM
Is Vince Naimoli still involved with the Rays? His business ethics are terrible, just ask many good people from Anchor Glass.

Fenway
02-03-2011, 06:30 PM
Is Vince Naimoli still involved with the Rays? His business ethics are terrible, just ask many good people from Anchor Glass.

He still owns a small part of the team and the new majority owner allows him inside The Trop....but he is not allowed to talk about the team.

Red Barchetta
02-03-2011, 06:48 PM
This team is in a no-win situation. They built a winning team and no one came. They had to give away tickets in order to sell out the ballpark.

They offered a privately funded ballpark option to St. Pete, however the city council voted it down. Apparently the existing bayside condo owners didn't want a new ballpark being built in the space a former minor league ballpark was located. (?!)

The owners are trying to stay profitable, thus the ticket price increase. As a casual observer of this circus, I expect the Rays to be in Montreal within 5 years. Tampa doesn't seem willing to fight for the Rays right to move out of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg is now allowing them out of their Tropicana lease unless the lease is paid out. The Rays proposed a solution and it was shot down.

MLB will step in and the Rays will use the lack of attendance to get out of the Tropicana lease and move the franchise.

Lip Man 1
02-03-2011, 07:36 PM
I don't know how long the lease agreement is for or how much remains but I remember reading a few years ago that the Florida Governor basically said if the Rays break their lease he'll have them and MLB in court so fast it will make their heads swim.

It sounds like another Seattle / King County lawsuit from when MLB yanked the Pilots.

Lip

Fenway
02-03-2011, 07:49 PM
I don't know how long the lease agreement is for or how much remains but I remember reading a few years ago that the Florida Governor basically said if the Rays break their lease he'll have them and MLB in court so fast it will make their heads swim.

It sounds like another Seattle / King County lawsuit from when MLB yanked the Pilots.

Lip

Turns out it isn't a lease - but a 30 year use agreement


http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/new-stadium-for-rays-what-the-lease-has-to-say/1037488

The Rays are FORBIDDEN from even talking to another city

raven1
02-03-2011, 08:54 PM
There's a logical solution baseball refuses to consider - contraction. Eliminate the Rays & one other team (A's if they don't get the stadium deal, otherwise Indians, Royals, or Blue Jays) & realign (Milwaukee & one other team to AL, shift division. That would eliminate a lot of the lack of pitching depth we're seeing. They could have avoided this problem in the first place if they had gone through with the plan in 2002 to contract the Expos & Twins.

WhiteSox5187
02-03-2011, 08:58 PM
There's a logical solution baseball refuses to consider - contraction. Eliminate the Rays & one other team (A's if they don't get the stadium deal, otherwise Indians, Royals, or Blue Jays) & realign (Milwaukee & one other team to AL, shift division. That would eliminate a lot of the lack of pitching depth we're seeing. They could have avoided this problem in the first place if they had gone through with the plan in 2002 to contract the Expos & Twins.

The union would never ever agree to contraction.

Fenway
02-03-2011, 09:13 PM
The union would never ever agree to contraction.

I don't believe contraction was ever a serious option.....but even if it was the end result worked far better than Selig could have dreamed.

The key was John Henry had to sell the Marlins quickly to get Boston. In Loria he had someone willing to go there.

In effect what happened was Loria moved Montreal management AND scouting to Florida and moved spring training into the Expos complex. MLB took control of the Expos but REFUSED to sell to Montreal people and what would have been the market value of the Expos and instead wound up moving to Washington, secured a stadium deal and then sold the team for far more tham what it would have been worth in Quebec.

The Twins scared enough people to finally get the stadium they wanted.

Lamp81
02-04-2011, 12:25 AM
Here's a wild idea. I wonder if the contract with St. Pete says that the Rays have to be a Major League team?

They could leave the Rays name, uniforms, etc. at Tropicana Field as a AAA team and then re-locate to another city with a new stadium.

ewokpelts
02-04-2011, 08:45 AM
they couldnt even sell out playoff games last year. the market is simply NOT THERE.

Dan H
02-04-2011, 10:22 AM
they couldnt even sell out playoff games last year. the market is simply NOT THERE.


I agree. Major League Baseball has to face up to that. Florida, despite having spring training, is more a football than baseball state. Not everyone is going to flock to see a team just because the powers that be decide that is what people should do.

Tropicana is a dump. It does not have the look and feel of a baseball stadium. I could never see myself warming up to that place.

Fenway
02-04-2011, 10:30 AM
I agree. Major League Baseball has to face up to that. Florida, despite having spring training, is more a football than baseball state. Not everyone is going to flock to see a team just because the powers that be decide that is what people should do.

Tropicana is a dump. It does not have the look and feel of a baseball stadium. I could never see myself warming up to that place.

The pics really show how bad it is

http://www.stadiumpage.com/stpages/tropicana.html

It wasn't great for hockey either :tongue:
http://www.hockeybay.com/images/thunderdomeTBcorwd.jpg

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 10:44 AM
The pics really show how bad it is

http://www.stadiumpage.com/stpages/tropicana.html

It wasn't great for hockey either :tongue:
http://www.hockeybay.com/images/thunderdomeTBcorwd.jpg

Thanks for the link. There is one picture I would like to add, however I think I deleted it. It was the fake wallpaper brick they use to cover over the concrete in the concourse. :rolleyes:

When the current Rays ownership (again) dumped money into renovating the dome the same time they changed to the uniforms/color scheme, there was serious talk in the papers about actually painting the exposed concrete on the upper walls in the outfield to look like a blue sky w/clouds, similar to the roof at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas. :scratch:

It seems like the animosity growing between St. Pete and the Rays management is getting greater and greater. I actually side with the owners because IMO they have done everything they can to fill the place, i.e. free parking, carry in food, concert tie-in events and even (gasp) building a solid winning on-field product and they still can't sell the coveted season ticket packages.

I don't think contraction will happen, however the Rays & Blue Jays would be at the top of my list because MLB would also lose IMO the two worst ballparks in the league, assuming the A's get their new ballpark. The Royals and Indians aren't going anywhere.

Perhaps the solution is the one previously mentioned. St. Pete allows the Rays to move to the other side of Tampa and then St. Pete becomes the minor league or spring training home of the Rays. They already have Al Lange field which was the site of the proposed new Rays ballpark a couple years ago and they could knock down Tropicana in favor of some smaller, open air spring training fields. Just an idea...

Fenway
02-04-2011, 11:42 AM
When I lived in the area in the 90's, I was amazed at how the two sides of the Bay just ignore the other. I lived just north of St Pete and a local call to Tampa cost more than LD to Boston. A friend who worked for GTE (now Verizon) explained that calls from St. Pete to Tampa were routed through Winter Haven, another 40 miles east of Tampa.

Local bus networks are a joke and the only reason there is ANY bus service between St Pete and Tampa is the State of Florida pays for it.
St Pete Transit
http://www.psta.net/busschedules.html
Tampa Transit
http://www.gohart.org/

The area just south of The Trop is not a place you want to wander into. The teenagers with flashlights waving you down the street are not looking to give you a parking spot.

I said this 20 years ago, and I will say it again. Florida NEVER has shown a love for baseball. Yes there is spring training, but that is for fans from up north to escape for a few days. The Florida State League has never drawn and this is before the Rays and Marlins showed up.

Lakeland is thrilled if 1,000 people show up.

Thanks for the link. There is one picture I would like to add, however I think I deleted it. It was the fake wallpaper brick they use to cover over the concrete in the concourse. :rolleyes:

When the current Rays ownership (again) dumped money into renovating the dome the same time they changed to the uniforms/color scheme, there was serious talk in the papers about actually painting the exposed concrete on the upper walls in the outfield to look like a blue sky w/clouds, similar to the roof at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas. :scratch:

It seems like the animosity growing between St. Pete and the Rays management is getting greater and greater. I actually side with the owners because IMO they have done everything they can to fill the place, i.e. free parking, carry in food, concert tie-in events and even (gasp) building a solid winning on-field product and they still can't sell the coveted season ticket packages.

I don't think contraction will happen, however the Rays & Blue Jays would be at the top of my list because MLB would also lose IMO the two worst ballparks in the league, assuming the A's get their new ballpark. The Royals and Indians aren't going anywhere.

Perhaps the solution is the one previously mentioned. St. Pete allows the Rays to move to the other side of Tampa and then St. Pete becomes the minor league or spring training home of the Rays. They already have Al Lange field which was the site of the proposed new Rays ballpark a couple years ago and they could knock down Tropicana in favor of some smaller, open air spring training fields. Just an idea...

ewokpelts
02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
The pics really show how bad it is

http://www.stadiumpage.com/stpages/tropicana.html

It wasn't great for hockey either :tongue:
http://www.hockeybay.com/images/thunderdomeTBcorwd.jpgthe exterior pics look like a rejected theme park setting

Bump34
02-04-2011, 12:37 PM
they couldnt even sell out playoff games last year. the market is simply NOT THERE.

That is totally FALSE!!! Games 1 and 2 were SOLD OUT before the tickets even went on sale to general public... and Game 5 SOLD OUT even with the additional seating when the team made the covered seats available.

DSpivack
02-04-2011, 12:48 PM
Wasn't Tropicana Field originally built for the White Sox?

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 12:50 PM
That is totally FALSE!!! Games 1 and 2 were SOLD OUT before the tickets even went on sale to general public... and Game 5 SOLD OUT even with the additional seating when the team made the covered seats available.

Correct. They did sell out the playoff games and even opened up additional seating that had obstructed views due to the lighting catwalks.

However, the owners did have to give away free seats the last home series of the regular season to give the impression of a sold out ballpark after the Rays clinched the Eastern Division and in order to pump up the atmosphere going into the playoffs against Texas.

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Wasn't Tropicana Field originally built for the White Sox?

It was built to attact a major league team for expansion. I think the White Sox were one of the first suiters that JR & company brilliantly leveraged to get a new ballpark deal done in Chicago. I could not imagine where my mind would be right now as a White Sox fan if they would have moved into that dome. :(:

Fenway
02-04-2011, 01:09 PM
The #1 problem is the location.....


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=Tampa+Bay+Devil+Rays,+1+Tropicana+Dr,+St+Petersb urg,+Pinellas,+Florida+33705&aq=&sll=39.09586,-76.851637&sspn=0.40074,0.883026&ie=UTF8&geocode=FRGzpwEdHcoS-w&split=0&hq=&hnear=Tampa+Bay+Devil+Rays,+1+Tropicana+Dr,+St+Pet ersburg,+Pinellas,+Florida+33705&ll=27.768621,-82.652893&spn=0.456891,0.883026&z=10


Driving in Pinellas County is torture - the roads did not keep up with the population explosion.

moochpuppy
02-04-2011, 01:14 PM
Rays proposed new stadium:

http://a323.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_mlb_experts/ept_sports_mlb_experts-126587184-1203514557.jpg?ymX4UrAD3Vtd0ERC

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 01:23 PM
Rays proposed new stadium:

http://a323.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_mlb_experts/ept_sports_mlb_experts-126587184-1203514557.jpg?ymX4UrAD3Vtd0ERC

This is the one from a few years ago that the Rays owners proposed to be built in downtown St. Pete at the site of the Al Lang baseball field. The city council voted it down even though the Rays ownership indicated the project would be supported by private funds and the re-development of the current land where Tropicana sits. The council didn't buy it and it had no political support outside of (then) Florida governor Charlie Crist who liked the idea and even owns a condo near the proposed site.

LITTLE NELL
02-04-2011, 01:37 PM
I've been to many games at the Trop and I don't find it all that bad of a place to watch a game. The problem is the location as most of the population lives across the bay to the north of the Trop. Traffic heading north on I -275 after a game is a nightmare. We are lucky as we head south after a game. A thing that also hurts is that most of the poulation are trans-plants and only go to the Trop when their home town team is in town as we do when the Sox visit the Bay area. If I we lived closer like 20 miles or so we would probably see a few more games because we love baseball and I like the Rays except when they are playing the Sox.
Another bad thing is those damn rings but a least they changed the rule that its now a dead ball if it hits the inner and middle rings.

Thome25
02-04-2011, 02:00 PM
This team is in a no-win situation. They built a winning team and no one came. They had to give away tickets in order to sell out the ballpark.

They offered a privately funded ballpark option to St. Pete, however the city council voted it down. Apparently the existing bayside condo owners didn't want a new ballpark being built in the space a former minor league ballpark was located. (?!)

The owners are trying to stay profitable, thus the ticket price increase. As a casual observer of this circus, I expect the Rays to be in Montreal within 5 years. Tampa doesn't seem willing to fight for the Rays right to move out of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg is now allowing them out of their Tropicana lease unless the lease is paid out. The Rays proposed a solution and it was shot down.
MLB will step in and the Rays will use the lack of attendance to get out of the Tropicana lease and move the franchise


I would love to see baseball return to Montreal....be it the Rays or another team. The Expos had a rich tradition and the city has a history in baseball in both the Major and Minor leagues.

GlassSox
02-04-2011, 02:32 PM
Back in the 90s I worked at Tropicana Products in Bradenton, FL (a 10 year joint venture with the company that I worked for) and when Tropicana acquired the naming rights we were given all kinds of promotional items. Tropicana Products gave me tickets and we went to the Trop but I did not like it at all and the place was pretty much empty and quiet. We went to one game and never returned again.

I agree with the other posters that the location is bad and getting to and from the Trop for a week night game is tough.

I only knew a few people who became Rays fans and attended frequently.

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 06:22 PM
Turns out it isn't a lease - but a 30 year use agreement


http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/new-stadium-for-rays-what-the-lease-has-to-say/1037488

The Rays are FORBIDDEN from even talking to another city

Interesting comments about the bonds expiring in 2016 and how much it would cost for either side to issue the necessary lawsuits if the Rays split before their 30 year facility use agreement ends in 2027. Basically, since the bonds to build the dome would all be paid off, the Rays argument could be they are leaving St. Pete with no debt as a result of their use of the dome. St. Pete's argument would be the lost revenue, jobs, etc.

The Marlins will have their new ballpark in 2012 and I really think the A's will get a new ballpark deal done in the next few years (loved the earlier Cisco Field concept), so that will pretty much leave the Rays alone with the "we need a new ballpark to compete" argument.

Hitmen77
02-04-2011, 06:53 PM
MLB was never big on Tampa Bay as a market going back to Peter Ueberroth who flat out told St Pete - DON'T BUILD IT - It won't work at that location.

It really is a strange area - St Pete might as well be Orlando as far as the Tampa side is concerned.

Turns out it isn't a lease - but a 30 year use agreement


http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/new-stadium-for-rays-what-the-lease-has-to-say/1037488

The Rays are FORBIDDEN from even talking to another city

Why did the Rays sign such a sweet deal (for St. Pete) that pretty much locks them in to that place until 2027?

What was MLB's role (since they were an expansion team) in locking the team in to such a long term deal when they thought the St Pete location wouldn't work?

It sounds like they're not going anywhere until at least the bonds are paid off in 2016. After that, any plans to move (before 2027?) sound like it will embroil MLB in a lawsuit.

Fenway
02-04-2011, 07:22 PM
Why did the Rays sign such a sweet deal (for St. Pete) that pretty much locks them in to that place until 2027?

What was MLB's role (since they were an expansion team) in locking the team in to such a long term deal when they thought the St Pete location wouldn't work?

It sounds like they're not going anywhere until at least the bonds are paid off in 2016. After that, any plans to move (before 2027?) sound like it will embroil MLB in a lawsuit.

You can thank the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners and the San Francisco Giants - city of St Pete had signed leases with all of them.

I was in a sportsbar in St Pete at 1 AM on July 1, 1988 when WFLA-TV was running a life feed from Springfield. The city started firing fireworks when it hit Midnight in Illinois - the White Sox belonged to St. Pete.

Andy Shaw remembers
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/sports&id=3545720

Lynn Sweet wrote a few years ago of just exactly how the Governor covered himself with the stopping of the clock. She said that he signed an executive order putting Illinois back on Standard Time which bought him an hour which is all he needed. He knew he could pull it off as the Sun-Times was White Sox friendly and the Tribune had to stay silent even though they would have paid for the White Sox moving vans.

JR and EE were scheduled to be at St. Pete City Hall at 10 AM to announce the lease that they had already signed. It was THAT close....

Red Barchetta
02-04-2011, 08:02 PM
You can thank the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners and the San Francisco Giants - city of St Pete had signed leases with all of them.

I was in a sportsbar in St Pete at 1 AM on July 1, 1988 when WFLA-TV was running a life feed from Springfield. The city started firing fireworks when it hit Midnight in Illinois - the White Sox belonged to St. Pete.

Andy Shaw remembers
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/sports&id=3545720

Lynn Sweet wrote a few years ago of just exactly how the Governor covered himself with the stopping of the clock. She said that he signed an executive order putting Illinois back on Standard Time which bought him an hour which is all he needed. He knew he could pull it off as the Sun-Times was White Sox friendly and the Tribune had to stay silent even though they would have paid for the White Sox moving vans.

JR and EE were scheduled to be at St. Pete City Hall at 10 AM to announce the lease that they had already signed. It was THAT close....

..."The Tampa Bay White Sox". Sounds horrible! :?:

Fenway
02-04-2011, 08:17 PM
..."The Tampa Bay White Sox". Sounds horrible! :?:

Florida White Sox was what they were going to use :scratch:

http://i36.tinypic.com/2myyatk.gif

Hitmen77
02-04-2011, 10:28 PM
You can thank the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners and the San Francisco Giants - city of St Pete had signed leases with all of them.

I was in a sportsbar in St Pete at 1 AM on July 1, 1988 when WFLA-TV was running a life feed from Springfield. The city started firing fireworks when it hit Midnight in Illinois - the White Sox belonged to St. Pete.

Andy Shaw remembers
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/sports&id=3545720

Lynn Sweet wrote a few years ago of just exactly how the Governor covered himself with the stopping of the clock. She said that he signed an executive order putting Illinois back on Standard Time which bought him an hour which is all he needed. He knew he could pull it off as the Sun-Times was White Sox friendly and the Tribune had to stay silent even though they would have paid for the White Sox moving vans.

JR and EE were scheduled to be at St. Pete City Hall at 10 AM to announce the lease that they had already signed. It was THAT close....

How did that result in the Rays/MLB allowing themselves to be locked up in St. Pete in a 30 year "use agreement" lease?

Maybe someone could argue in 1988 (when Tropicana Field was built) that they couldn't foresee how badly a fixed-roof, fake grass stadium would be received by fans. But by the time the Rays were added as an expansion team in 1998, the retro park wave was well underway and it should have been pretty clear to everyone involved how horribly outdated the Trop already was.

Fenway
02-04-2011, 10:48 PM
St Pete wasn't going to get fooled again - hence the long term deal which except for the years is good for the team.

The one place in St Pete that could work is around Derby Lane the dog racing plant.

Biggest problem is the lack of 'big money' in the TB market - way too many retired, military etc. 20 years ago Tampa lost many corporate jobs to Orlando simply because of Disney, MCO became an airport with nonstops everywhere.

The Rays finished 23rd in attendance with a very good team in 2010...a team that just destroyed the Red Sox in April and the area yawned.

5 years from now they will be in Quebec or North Carolina.


How did that result in the Rays/MLB allowing themselves to be locked up in St. Pete in a 30 year "use agreement" lease?

Maybe someone could argue in 1988 (when Tropicana Field was built) that they couldn't foresee how badly a fixed-roof, fake grass stadium would be received by fans. But by the time the Rays were added as an expansion team in 1998, the retro park wave was well underway and it should have been pretty clear to everyone involved how horribly outdated the Trop already was.

Viva Medias B's
02-04-2011, 11:24 PM
The Rays should move to Orlando. That would be much more profitable than Tampa.

Fenway
02-04-2011, 11:38 PM
The Rays should move to Orlando. That would be much more profitable than Tampa.

There is more $$ in Orlando and the team could work with Disney to package 'road trips'.

The Tampa Bay market is hurting BIG TIME as the Bucs could not sellout games in 2010 with a decent team. The Lightning are papering the house with freebies.

Tampa Bay is Cleveland with palm trees.

DSpivack
02-05-2011, 12:27 AM
Interesting comments about the bonds expiring in 2016 and how much it would cost for either side to issue the necessary lawsuits if the Rays split before their 30 year facility use agreement ends in 2027. Basically, since the bonds to build the dome would all be paid off, the Rays argument could be they are leaving St. Pete with no debt as a result of their use of the dome. St. Pete's argument would be the lost revenue, jobs, etc.

The Marlins will have their new ballpark in 2012 and I really think the A's will get a new ballpark deal done in the next few years (loved the earlier Cisco Field concept), so that will pretty much leave the Rays alone with the "we need a new ballpark to compete" argument.

Not a chance unless the team pays for 100% of it.

Lamp81
02-05-2011, 01:12 AM
Lynn Sweet wrote a few years ago of just exactly how the Governor covered himself with the stopping of the clock. She said that he signed an executive order putting Illinois back on Standard Time which bought him an hour which is all he needed. He knew he could pull it off as the Sun-Times was White Sox friendly and the Tribune had to stay silent even though they would have paid for the White Sox moving vans.

Which is the reason I think the Ballpark should have been named Thompson Field, to thank the Governor for saving the Sox.

In my mind, Comiskey Park was the one torn down, and the new park should have a new name, especially since it was not made to look anything at all like the original Comsikey Park.

Fenway
02-05-2011, 01:28 AM
Which is the reason I think the Ballpark should have been named Thompson Field, to thank the Governor for saving the Sox.

In my mind, Comiskey Park was the one torn down, and the new park should have a new name, especially since it was not made to look anything at all like the original Comsikey Park.

My memory of 7/1/88 was being on live on Channel 8 in Tampa and being asked by the 'late' Chris Thomas if Chicago could stop it... I replied yes.

Red Barchetta
02-05-2011, 12:05 PM
There is more $$ in Orlando and the team could work with Disney to package 'road trips'.

The Tampa Bay market is hurting BIG TIME as the Bucs could not sellout games in 2010 with a decent team. The Lightning are papering the house with freebies.

Tampa Bay is Cleveland with palm trees.

I think Orlando would face the same challenges as putting a team in Las Vegas. A lot of tourist dollars, however not too many locals who could support a team.

There was talk about building a ballpark somewhere between Tampa & Orlando along I4, however I still think when you cast a big net and try to catch everyone, you miss the opportunity to develop a true fan base.

I would love to see them build a retro-looking (aka brick frontage) ballpark in old Tampa near the Ybor district. It would have a feel similar to Camden Yards with the old cigar factories and trolly cars. The Tampa skyline would also come into play.

That's where the current St. Petersburg identify crisis comes in. Even though the Rays play in St. Petersburg, their name still has the name of a neighboring city.

Hitmen77
02-05-2011, 09:31 PM
The Marlins will have their new ballpark in 2012 and I really think the A's will get a new ballpark deal done in the next few years (loved the earlier Cisco Field concept), so that will pretty much leave the Rays alone with the "we need a new ballpark to compete" argument.

Not a chance unless the team pays for 100% of it.

I thought the latest I heard was that the stadium for the A's was planned to be 100% privately funded.

However, there would be public funding to acquire land for the stadium, but I believe San Jose has already acquired most of the land.

Of course, one huge roadblock is that the Giants have territorial rights over San Jose.

DSpivack
02-06-2011, 02:25 AM
I thought the latest I heard was that the stadium for the A's was planned to be 100% privately funded.

However, there would be public funding to acquire land for the stadium, but I believe San Jose has already acquired most of the land.

Of course, one huge roadblock is that the Giants have territorial rights over San Jose.

Didn't realize that.

Thought I read something about the San Jose site being part of something called a local development organization [state-funded quasi-governmental corporation], and that the Gov. was getting rid of those due to a budget deficit.

Hitmen77
02-06-2011, 10:32 AM
Didn't realize that.

Thought I read something about the San Jose site being part of something called a local development organization [state-funded quasi-governmental corporation], and that the Gov. was getting rid of those due to a budget deficit.

I think that's the catch. The stadium itself would supposedly be privately funded, but not the land that it's on. The city(?) would have to raise money to acquire the land. The land acquisition (I think) would be done through that local development organization that is facing the Gov's ax.

I thought I read that San Jose has already acquired most of the land. So, I'm not sure what the latest status is with that and whether having the redevelopment agencies getting axed would necessarily kill this project.

Fenway
02-06-2011, 02:05 PM
A look into the Rays books..

http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/rays-numbers-show-team-investing-on-the-field-not-raking-in-cash/1120785

Fenway
02-09-2011, 12:22 PM
This chart shows pretty much what options baseball has to relocate a team in North America....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_urban_agglomerations_in_North_ America

1. Mexico City 19,411,000
14. Guadalajara 3,968,000
15. Montreal 3,640,000
16. Monterrey 3,596,000
21. San Juan 2,605,000
26. Havana 2,189,000
27. Vancouver 2,188,000
29. Port-au-Prince 2,129,000
30. Santo Domingo 2,022,000
33. Portland 1,810,000
35. Las Vegas 1,720,000


MLB would not go near Mexico right now, they tried San Juan and there was no great interest.

Ten years from now I can see Havana once all the South Florida Cuban money can return after Fidel passes. ( and as anyone in South Florida knows, that is a LOT of money )

Bettman drools over Port-au-Prince

Portland just maybe too close to the Mariners and certainly would cut Seattle TV revenue. Vancouver has never shown interest in MLB.

Tampa is at #22 with 2,252,000

Red Barchetta
02-09-2011, 06:15 PM
I found this article from last year very interesting regarding the preferred sites for the new Rays ballpark. I for one am glad that Dale Mabry and the I4 Fairgrounds locations are not the top two according to the Rays ownership.

I find it encouraging that Stuart Sternberg and the Rays want an "urban environment" and that the downtown Tampa/Ybor district is mentioned as well as the reference to Camden Yards.

The secondary location would be in the Pinellas County Gateway area. Although better than the I4 location, this location IMO would be a traffic nightmare for evening games. However, it would appease the St. Petersburg council as it would technically still be within St. Petersburg.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/if-theres-a-new-stadium-for-the-tampa-bay-rays-where-should-it-be/1105412

Fenway
02-17-2011, 11:31 AM
The Tampa owner says he will try to make it work

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-rays-owner-stuart-sternberg-believes-baseball-can-work-in-tampa-bay/1151987

But it will be next to impossible to get any public money in Florida, just yesterday the Governor killed a high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando.

Red Barchetta
02-17-2011, 03:27 PM
The Tampa owner says he will try to make it work

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-rays-owner-stuart-sternberg-believes-baseball-can-work-in-tampa-bay/1151987

But it will be next to impossible to get any public money in Florida, just yesterday the Governor killed a high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando.

With all the issues regarding air travel, you would think high-speed rail would be a slam dunk in terms of a great way to generate jobs and new revenue.

As a business traveler, I would love to have the option of a high speed, 200 MPH + train to travel between two regional cities. Although security would have to be just as tight, it would be nice to have a business class train car complete with wi-fi, etc. so that you can actually work instead of being crammed inside a coach airline cabin.

I see pictures of these high speed trains in Europe and China and cannot understand why we can't make that happen here. Nothing will replace a flight between New York and L.A., however if would be nice to have options to the airlines for shorter, regional trips.

Fenway
02-17-2011, 03:40 PM
With all the issues regarding air travel, you would think high-speed rail would be a slam dunk in terms of a great way to generate jobs and new revenue.

As a business traveler, I would love to have the option of a high speed, 200 MPH + train to travel between two regional cities. Although security would have to be just as tight, it would be nice to have a business class train car complete with wi-fi, etc. so that you can actually work instead of being crammed inside a coach airline cabin.

I see pictures of these high speed trains in Europe and China and cannot understand why we can't make that happen here. Nothing will replace a flight between New York and L.A., however if would be nice to have options to the airlines for shorter, regional trips.

What is really sad is the New Haven Railroad ran between Boston and NY faster in 1912 than today ( Acela is useless as it can only go 59 MPH between New Haven and New Rochelle - it hits 135 between Boston and Providence whoopie )

Just reading the Tampa papers this morning people are in shock...the project was that far along...

ComiskeyBrewer
02-17-2011, 06:23 PM
With all the issues regarding air travel, you would think high-speed rail would be a slam dunk in terms of a great way to generate jobs and new revenue.

As a business traveler, I would love to have the option of a high speed, 200 MPH + train to travel between two regional cities. Although security would have to be just as tight, it would be nice to have a business class train car complete with wi-fi, etc. so that you can actually work instead of being crammed inside a coach airline cabin.

I see pictures of these high speed trains in Europe and China and cannot understand why we can't make that happen here. Nothing will replace a flight between New York and L.A., however if would be nice to have options to the airlines for shorter, regional trips.

Scott Walker killed the same kind of proposal here back in November. It was supposed to run between Milwaukee and Madison.

Red Barchetta
02-17-2011, 06:33 PM
Scott Walker killed the same kind of proposal here back in November. It was supposed to run between Milwaukee and Madison.

Scott Walker had a rough day today as well. It's all over the news...

SCCWS
02-17-2011, 06:46 PM
With all the issues regarding air travel, you would think high-speed rail would be a slam dunk in terms of a great way to generate jobs and new revenue.

As a business traveler, I would love to have the option of a high speed, 200 MPH + train to travel between two regional cities. Although security would have to be just as tight, it would be nice to have a business class train car complete with wi-fi, etc. so that you can actually work instead of being crammed inside a coach airline cabin.

I see pictures of these high speed trains in Europe and China and cannot understand why we can't make that happen here. Nothing will replace a flight between New York and L.A., however if would be nice to have options to the airlines for shorter, regional trips.


The proposal was rejected strictly on politics. Florida's new Gov. is a Tea Party person so he did not want an Obama initiative. The mayors along the train route are enraged as well as the unions which counted on thousands of new jobs. Supposedly the Fla. money was quickly gobbled up by New York.

Another misleading perspective. I attend a few spring training games as well as a few Tampa regular season games each year. It usually costs more to see a spring training game - Baltimore in Sarasota and Blue Jays in Dunedin than a regular season Rays game. Most tics are $12-$20. You can buy 2nd deck behind home plate in Tropicana Field for $9.00 and $17 for left and right field grandstand. I am from New England. This is football and Nascar country. It is not baseball and NCAA basketball country.

soxfanreggie
02-17-2011, 09:56 PM
The proposal was rejected strictly on politics. Florida's new Gov. is a Tea Party person so he did not want an Obama initiative. The mayors along the train route are enraged as well as the unions which counted on thousands of new jobs. Supposedly the Fla. money was quickly gobbled up by New York.

Another misleading perspective. I attend a few spring training games as well as a few Tampa regular season games each year. It usually costs more to see a spring training game - Baltimore in Sarasota and Blue Jays in Dunedin than a regular season Rays game. Most tics are $12-$20. You can buy 2nd deck behind home plate in Tropicana Field for $9.00 and $17 for left and right field grandstand. I am from New England. This is football and Nascar country. It is not baseball and NCAA basketball country.

Staying out of the political discussion, I will agree that Rays' games are quite affordable. They had a thing where 4 or more people in a car meant free parking. That was quite a steal!

Fenway
02-17-2011, 10:04 PM
I won't get involved in Florida politics except to say it is rare when the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune agree on something.

Tampa Bay needs that rail link badly.

slavko
02-17-2011, 11:01 PM
all the more reason why we should be glad the sox never moved there.

Had they moved there, the franchise would have what it deserved.

Foulke You
02-18-2011, 01:40 AM
Had they moved there, the franchise would have what it deserved.
I've often wondered if Chicago would have gotten another baseball team if the Sox had left. Would the Rockies or Marlins franchises have expanded into Chicago instead of their respective cities? Would a financially strapped AL team have been lured to the Chicago market? I'm glad we never had to find out but Chicago is such a big market, you would think the Sox would have been replaced at some point.

Hitmen77
02-18-2011, 09:25 AM
I've often wondered if Chicago would have gotten another baseball team if the Sox had left. Would the Rockies or Marlins franchises have expanded into Chicago instead of their respective cities? Would a financially strapped AL team have been lured to the Chicago market? I'm glad we never had to find out but Chicago is such a big market, you would think the Sox would have been replaced at some point.

I'm absolutely convinced we would NOT have gotten another baseball team.

Without a new stadium, why would another team move into a crumbling Comiskey Park located in a bad neighborhood to go up against the dominant Cubs? There's also no way MLB would have put an expansion team here without a new stadium deal and turn their backs on an untapped market like Denver.

Some people in Illinois at the time (mostly Cubs fans who wanted the Sox gone anyway) were using the "we'll get another team" excuse in their argument to just let the Sox move. That was just pure fantasy because there was no way in hell that was going to happen.

If the Sox had left, the same thing would have happened to Chicago as did with the NFL - all but a few bitter old timers would be Cubs fans.

TommyJohn
02-18-2011, 09:31 AM
I'm absolutely convinced we would NOT have gotten another baseball team.

Without a new stadium, why would another team move into a crumbling Comiskey Park located in a bad neighborhood to go up against the dominant Cubs? There's also no way MLB would have put an expansion team here without a new stadium deal and turn their backs on an untapped market like Denver.

Some people in Illinois at the time (mostly Cubs fans who wanted the Sox gone anyway) were using the "we'll get another team" excuse in their argument to just let the Sox move. That was just pure fantasy because there was no way in hell that was going to happen.

If the Sox had left, the same thing would have happened to Chicago as did with the NFL - all but a few bitter old timers would be Cubs fans.

Agreed. Of course, I remember some people who wanted the Sox to move were Sox fans who wanted to be rid of the owners. Not much to say about that, so I won't.

Fenway
02-18-2011, 09:44 AM
Agreed. Of course, I remember some people who wanted the Sox to move were Sox fans who wanted to be rid of the owners. Not much to say about that, so I won't.

The unknown - would the Sox leaving in 1989 have then led to a new stadium for baseball and football?

Fenway
02-18-2011, 10:19 AM
A lot of MLB teams will be watching to see if the Rays moving game times on a school night to 6:40 PM will help them in April or May. If there is a bump expect other teams to do so including the White Sox.

Hitmen77
02-18-2011, 10:39 AM
The unknown - would the Sox leaving in 1989 have then led to a new stadium for baseball and football?

I don't see any reason why that would have happened. Chicago already had a baseball team (Cubs) and the Bears had no interest in moving into a multipurpose stadium.

The only driving factor for a new baseball stadium in 1988 was to keep a long-time franchise with a deep history in Chicago from leaving. Once the Sox were gone, I really can't imagine there would have been incentive to then fund a stadium to attract a new team since we already had the Cubs and the Bears were not going anywhere.

TommyJohn
02-18-2011, 11:50 AM
The unknown - would the Sox leaving in 1989 have then led to a new stadium for baseball and football?

I don't see any reason why that would have happened. Chicago already had a baseball team (Cubs) and the Bears had no interest in moving into a multipurpose stadium.

The only driving factor for a new baseball stadium in 1988 was to keep a long-time franchise with a deep history in Chicago from leaving. Once the Sox were gone, I really can't imagine there would have been incentive to then fund a stadium to attract a new team since we already had the Cubs and the Bears were not going anywhere.

And by 1989 Wrigley Field was revered as the Sacred Garden, and lights had just been added. There would have been an uproar if the Cubs had said they wanted a new stadium. So no, it would not have happened.

Hitmen77
02-18-2011, 04:34 PM
Agreed. Of course, I remember some people who wanted the Sox to move were Sox fans who wanted to be rid of the owners. Not much to say about that, so I won't.

Yes, I remember that. People were deluding themselves.

all the more reason why we should be glad the sox never moved there.

Well, it certainly would have been a disaster for JR and EE. I wonder how long they would have been in Tampa before they started looking to get out.

TheVulture
02-18-2011, 06:04 PM
Major League Baseball has to face up to that. Florida, despite having spring training, is more a football than baseball state.

If that were the problem, MLB would only have a good market in NY, AZ and Seattle - the only places in the US where baseball is more popular than football. Texas is THE football state - I don't hear anyone talking about contracting Texas teams.

Hell, I've heard it said there isn't enough interest in AZ to support a baseball team properly - yet, it's a top 5 market overall, and one only of three major markets where baseball is the most popular sport.

Red Barchetta
02-18-2011, 07:15 PM
Major League Baseball has to face up to that. Florida, despite having spring training, is more a football than baseball state.

After living here for 6 years, I wouldn't say it's that cut & dry. The Bucaneers had most (if not all) of their 2010 home games blacked out despite a winning record. I witness Bears fans, Packers fans, Steeler fans and other cold weather hard core fans sell out 40,000 seat football stadiums regardless of the conditions, whereas Tampa can't sell out (a very nice) Raymond James stadium when it's 70 degrees and sunny and the team has a winning record.

What I've witnessed is apathy among the local fans. They all talk a good game, claim they are fans, wear the caps, etc., however they don't support the product in person. Maybe the economy has something to do with it, maybe not. I just think at least 1/2 the population is from somewhere else (like me) and tend to maintain loyalty to the teams they grew up watching and rooting for.

I have enjoyed the Rays team over the past few seasons and usually go to about 15 games each season including the 3 or 6 games when they play the White Sox. Tropicana is not a good ballpark by any stretch of the imagination, however I know I would probably attend more ballgames each season if it was a nice outdoor ballpark in a nicer area of Tampa.

AZChiSoxFan
02-18-2011, 10:35 PM
If that were the problem, MLB would only have a good market in NY, AZ and Seattle - the only places in the US where baseball is more popular than football. Texas is THE football state - I don't hear anyone talking about contracting Texas teams.

Hell, I've heard it said there isn't enough interest in AZ to support a baseball team properly - yet, it's a top 5 market overall, and one only of three major markets where baseball is the most popular sport.

What's your basis for saying that baseball is the most popular sport in AZ? I've lived here my whole life and I don't necessarily agree with that. It may or may not be accurate. Even if it's true today though, it may not be true tomorrow, with the fickle fan base we have here. Two years ago, all I saw was Cardinals gear everywhere. I've always thought that the Suns had the biggest following here, mostly because they are the only pro team that's been here for quite some time.

Phx is a top 5 market as you say, but I read the other day that the D-backs payroll this year will be very near the bottom of MLB. Despite the kool-aide being served up by Kevin Towers, I see another terrible year on the way for the boys wearing Sedona Red. In this market, that translates to entire sections of empty seats. I've been to games at Chase Field in recent years where I was quite sure I heard a pin drop.

Foulke You
02-19-2011, 01:52 AM
I'm absolutely convinced we would NOT have gotten another baseball team.

Without a new stadium, why would another team move into a crumbling Comiskey Park located in a bad neighborhood to go up against the dominant Cubs? There's also no way MLB would have put an expansion team here without a new stadium deal and turn their backs on an untapped market like Denver.

Some people in Illinois at the time (mostly Cubs fans who wanted the Sox gone anyway) were using the "we'll get another team" excuse in their argument to just let the Sox move. That was just pure fantasy because there was no way in hell that was going to happen.

If the Sox had left, the same thing would have happened to Chicago as did with the NFL - all but a few bitter old timers would be Cubs fans.
You could be right, however, a clever ownership group *might* have been able to secure funding for a new ballpark where the Sox could not. They could have theoritically moved into Old Comiskey for a couple years while a new stadium was built.

Regardless, I could never imagine wearing a Cubs hat and rooting for that team even if the Sox left town. I likely would have adopted the new Chicago AL franchise as my team if they ever did form one. We really don't know how lucky we all were to have our team saved. When you speak to former Brooklyn Dodgers fans even today, it's like they are talking about a dead beloved family member when the topic is broached.