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View Full Version : Devil Rays want to move 3 home games to Disney World


Fenway
11-29-2006, 05:22 PM
ST. PETERSBURG - In an effort to expand their presence in the Orlando area, the Devil Rays are considering moving three regular-season games to the Disney complex.

Talks to shift the May 15-17 games against Texas are still in preliminary stages, officials said, and numerous issues, including approval from Major League Baseball, the players union and the umpires, need to be resolved, but the deal could be completed within a few weeks.

Sports media director Darrell Fry confirmed the Rays have had "preliminary talks" about using The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports. The spring training home of the Atlanta Braves seats about 9,500 but with berm areas can accommodate about 11,500 and could be slightly expanded further.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/11/29/Rays/Rays_hope_to_play_ser.shtml

PKalltheway
11-29-2006, 05:28 PM
:rolleyes: Exactly why are they considering this? Just have their games televised in Orlando if they want to reach out to that market so bad.

DumpJerry
11-29-2006, 05:34 PM
Sports media director Darrell Fry confirmed the Rays have had "preliminary talks" about using The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports. The spring training home of the Atlanta Braves seats about 9,500 but with berm areas can accommodate about 11,500 and could be slightly expanded further.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/11/29/Rays/Rays_hope_to_play_ser.shtml
Wont' happen.

Fenway
11-29-2006, 05:34 PM
:rolleyes: Exactly why are they considering this? Just have their games televised in Orlando if they want to reach out to that market so bad.

I don't care what they are saying I sense this is the start of trying to move the team 100 miles east. They will never draw in South St Pete.

Ol' No. 2
11-29-2006, 05:36 PM
I don't care what they are saying I sense this is the start of trying to move the team 100 miles east. They will never draw in South St Pete.:reinsy That could have been us.

PKalltheway
11-29-2006, 05:38 PM
I don't care what they are saying I sense this is the start of trying to move the team 100 miles east. They will never draw in South St Pete.
As long as that team continues to stink, they won't draw in Orlando either. People want to see a winner.

Fenway
11-29-2006, 05:39 PM
:reinsy That could have been us.



Remember when Einhorn was going ga ga over the TV money to be made in Florida? Everybody misread the Florida market.

ewokpelts
11-29-2006, 05:49 PM
I don't care what they are saying I sense this is the start of trying to move the team 100 miles east. They will never draw in South St Pete.Are they taking the stadium with them? Cuz, from what I hear, that stadium contract is pretty damm iron clad.

Fenway
11-29-2006, 05:56 PM
Are they taking the stadium with them? Cuz, from what I hear, that stadium contract is pretty damm iron clad.

2007 will be year 10 of 30. It is supposed to be an ironclad lease but :?:

I know the area well and they will not draw even if the won. People gripe about the traffic after a Boston game that draws 30,000. The Rays biggest problem is that people on the Tampa side of the bridge will not cross over to St Pete. They will drive 80 miles for a Magic game but not 20 for a Rays.

sox1970
11-29-2006, 06:26 PM
Wouldn't it just be nice if they took Major League Baseball out of Florida and just had 14 teams in each league without interleague play and divisions? That would be a step in the right direction if you axe me.

PaulDrake
11-29-2006, 06:47 PM
Remember when Einhorn was going ga ga over the TV money to be made in Florida? Everybody misread the Florida market. I think a lot of folks thought it would be like California in 1958. They couldn't have been more wrong.

FedEx227
11-29-2006, 10:32 PM
Wouldn't it just be nice if they took Major League Baseball out of Florida and just had 14 teams in each league without interleague play and divisions? That would be a step in the right direction if you axe me.

No, because it is no longer 1952, it's 2006.

WhiteSox5187
11-29-2006, 11:23 PM
Sports just don't do well in South Florida. Even the Dolophins, with those teams in the 1990s, had a hard time drawing. The Heat might be drawing well though...

Scottiehaswheels
11-30-2006, 12:04 AM
If they move the games to Disney World can they count the Disney attendence as their own and potentially draw 2 mil fans a year? my bad, another attendence thread...:cool:

TheOldRoman
11-30-2006, 12:25 AM
The Heat might be drawing well though...
I don't think so. During every regular season Heat game I have seen, most of the courtside seats are empty. When they show the crowd in a panoramic view, you can see many empty seats.
In the playoff series against the Bulls last year, they started "painting the hall white" and gave away white t-shirts to the fans. They also put white seat covers over the seat backs to make the empty seats look like fans were in them.

I think Tampa is a horrible market, but I still believe baseball could succeed in Miami given the right stadium and ownership.

DSpivack
11-30-2006, 01:56 AM
I don't think so. During every regular season Heat game I have seen, most of the courtside seats are empty. When they show the crowd in a panoramic view, you can see many empty seats.
In the playoff series against the Bulls last year, they started "painting the hall white" and gave away white t-shirts to the fans. They also put white seat covers over the seat backs to make the empty seats look like fans were in them.

I think Tampa is a horrible market, but I still believe baseball could succeed in Miami given the right stadium and ownership.

I think the Rays could work in Orlando, seems a much better, bigger market than Tampa, certainly should be able to draw tourists that they aren't now, especially if expand Wide World of Sports Complex, so they're not so much in Orlando but near Disney.

EDIT: Wow, comma splicing.

sox1970
11-30-2006, 06:17 AM
No, because it is no longer 1952, it's 2006.

Still send the top four teams to the playoffs, so not 1952. No different than what we have now, just assuring the best teams make the playoffs with the correct seeding.

As for the Florida teams, haven't they proven by now that they don't want to support baseball? Forget that the Marlins have won 2 World Series, they have no fan base. And the Devil Rays are an absolute joke. No explanation needed.

Frater Perdurabo
11-30-2006, 07:10 AM
As for the Florida teams, haven't they proven by now that they don't want to support baseball? Forget that the Marlins have won 2 World Series, they have no fan base. And the Devil Rays are an absolute joke. No explanation needed.

The problem with the Marlins is that when they aren't winning World Series, they are terrible. Beyond that, who wants to sit outdoors for three hours to watch a baseball game in 90-degree heat with 80% humidity and little breeze?

The Astros built a retractable roof stadium in order to make their fans more comfortable. The Marlins would draw better if they had a similar stadium.

The Rays would draw better if they actually won.

Florida can support baseball teams. The teams in Florida haven't done much to build a fan base, though. Don't blame the state. Blame the owners and GMs.

FedEx227
11-30-2006, 08:14 AM
The problem with the Marlins is that when they aren't winning World Series, they are terrible. Beyond that, who wants to sit outdoors for three hours to watch a baseball game in 90-degree heat with 80% humidity and little breeze?

The Astros built a retractable roof stadium in order to make their fans more comfortable. The Marlins would draw better if they had a similar stadium.

The Rays would draw better if they actually won.

Florida can support baseball teams. The teams in Florida haven't done much to build a fan base, though. Don't blame the state. Blame the owners and GMs.

Exactly. There is no denying that Florida COULD support a baseball franchise, look no further then the people that come out for the Marlins when they're in the playoffs. The fact of the matter is they've had piss-poor ownership for both teams.

Fenway
11-30-2006, 08:28 AM
Back in 1990 when I was living in St Pete I was involved with Steven Porter's failed bid to get an expansion team ( he lost out to Miami and Denver )

At first glance Tampa seems to have the population numbers to support baseball but the reality is 35% of the market are retired people on fixed income. The other problem is the stadium location. Had the stadium been built 8 miles north in the area of the Derby Lane dog track it would have been much easier to get fans from the Tampa side of the bridge to crossover.

Another problem with the Tampa market is the lack of a corporate base. In the last 15 years downtown Tampa has become a ghost town as bank mergers in the state have wiped out the locally owned Tampa banks. Another factor is how "The Mouse" has hurt business in the Tampa Bay area. Major companies relocated to Orlando because you can fly non-stop to almost any city in the US from Orlando ( because of Disney ) and Tampa doesn't get the air traffic it did 15 years ago.

A team in Orlando could also draw from Jacksonville and the east coast of Florida plus it would have a huge pool of tourists looking for something to do at night after being at Disney.

MiamiSpartan
12-03-2006, 05:07 PM
I don't care what they are saying I sense this is the start of trying to move the team 100 miles east. They will never draw in South St Pete.

The Trop is in such a strange part of the area....It's not convenient for anyone in the Bay area....Orlando doesn't make too much sense yet, but I could see it within 10-15 years, as it's projected to be the largest city in Florida by then....They have unlimiited land to develope compared to the other cities here that are locked in by water, swamp, etc....

PKalltheway
12-04-2006, 12:01 AM
The Rays would draw better if they actually won.


That's what I'm thinking. If they're really speculating on whether or not they want to move to Orlando, at least wait until the team has a winning season or two to see how the attendance pans out. Look at the Mariners. They became a team in 1977 and they didn't have their first winning season until 1991!:o: Just give the Rays some time. Besides, most expansion teams stink in their first 10 years anyway.

ewokpelts
12-04-2006, 06:41 AM
That's what I'm thinking. If they're really speculating on whether or not they want to move to Orlando, at least wait until the team has a winning season or two to see how the attendance pans out. Look at the Mariners. They became a team in 1977 and they didn't have their first winning season until 1991!:o: Just give the Rays some time. Besides, most expansion teams stink in their first 10 years anyway.1995, not 1991.

fquaye149
12-04-2006, 08:47 AM
I don't know if this has been pointed out, but how are the Devil Rays going to fill a 9500 seat stadium?

The Yankees better be in town that week.

soxfanaticpaulie
12-04-2006, 08:55 AM
The spring training home of the Atlanta Braves seats about 9,500 but with berm areas can accommodate about 11,500 and could be slightly expanded further.



I guess the Rays want to give themselves some sort of shot to have a sell out...

Somehow, I think they might end up embarrassing themselves on national TV when they can't sell out a spring training park...

Fenway
12-04-2006, 09:02 AM
I guess the Rays want to give themselves some sort of shot to have a sell out...

Somehow, I think they might end up embarrassing themselves on national TV when they can't sell out a spring training park...

If the team was on the Tampa side of the bridge they would draw 50% more right away.

One of the biggest problem they have is most baseball fans in the area are fans of another team. When Boston or the Yankees play there the crowds jump to 25,000-30,000) The Bucs for years had the same problem. When the Bears played there every year it was like a home game for Chicago.

Winning might change things but while a lower payroll may win in the Central or West, it isn't going to happen in the AL East.

Bump34
12-04-2006, 09:17 AM
First of all... thanks for all the interest in Devil Rays baseball... reading this thread I feel like I am hosting the post game show again... and we are getting phone calls about how bad the location of U.S. Cellular Field is and why nobody goes there...

There is ONE real big reason why the Rays attendance is not as good as it should be... the lack of W's...

Is Tropicana Field a gem of a ballpark... probably not... but take it from someone who has been there for two season's now... watching a game inside at 72 degrees... without a delay is a heck of lot better than what they go through down in South Florida...

For what its worth... the new ownership is pouring in close to $20 million worth of their own $$$ to improve the place... and if you haven't been their recently it is much improved... this year they are putting in a new turf... new scoreboard and video boards... If you only see the place on TV as I did before I got there... TV does make it look dreary... It is a much more appealing place in person... The team would not be spending this kind of money if it was looking to leave in a couple of years...

Hmm... sounds like I have had to defend ballparks before... doesn't it!?!?

Secondly... the team is not looking to move to Orlando... The 3 games they are looking to move are just an opportunity to expand the reach of the Rays... or whatever we will be called next season... that is why there is some talk that we won't even be known as the Tampa Bay ???????? next season... Our ownership group wants to be known as a regional franchise... People in Orlando and Sarasota don't say they are from the Tampa Bay area...

Finally if the team was to move out of Tropicana Field... I think... And this is just MY opinion... there are 3 places they should try and build a new ballpark...

1 - Downtown St. Petersburg... where Al Lang Field is... It would be the be the best site as far as taking in all Florida has to offer... it would be right on the Gulf... but it also would be a logistical nightmare because of traffic... parking etc...

2 - A region in St. Pete/Clearwater that is just west of the Howard Frankland bridge... this would probably appease the folks in Pinellas County... but still bring the ballpark close to those in Tampa and Orlando...

3 - On the eastern edge of Tampa... near the Hard Rock Hotel and Ford Ampitheatre... might be the best site... but would take some doing because of the lease at the Trop...

None of this is going to happen for at least 7-10 years...

Sorry for being so long written...

Oh by the way... Fenway... people still fly in and out of Tampa International... better that 19 million did in '05... a 10% increase from 04... for what its worth...

fquaye149
12-04-2006, 09:27 AM
First of all... thanks for all the interest in Devil Rays baseball... reading this thread I feel like I am hosting the post game show again... and we are getting phone calls about how bad the location of U.S. Cellular Field is and why nobody goes there...

There is ONE real big reason why the Rays attendance is not as good as it should be... the lack of W's...

Is Tropicana Field a gem of a ballpark... probably not... but take it from someone who has been there for two season's now... watching a game inside at 72 degrees... without a delay is a heck of lot better than what they go through down in South Florida...

For what its worth... the new ownership is pouring in close to $20 million worth of their own $$$ to improve the place... and if you haven't been their recently it is much improved... this year they are putting in a new turf... new scoreboard and video boards... If you only see the place on TV as I did before I got there... TV does make it look dreary... It is a much more appealing place in person... The team would not be spending this kind of money if it was looking to leave in a couple of years...

Hmm... sounds like I have had to defend ballparks before... doesn't it!?!?

Secondly... the team is not looking to move to Orlando... The 3 games they are looking to move are just an opportunity to expand the reach of the Rays... or whatever we will be called next season... that is why there is some talk that we won't even be known as the Tampa Bay ???????? next season... Our ownership group wants to be known as a regional franchise... People in Orlando and Sarasota don't say they are from the Tampa Bay area...

Finally if the team was to move out of Tropicana Field... I think... And this is just MY opinion... there are 3 places they should try and build a new ballpark...

1 - Downtown St. Petersburg... where Al Lang Field is... It would be the be the best site as far as taking in all Florida has to offer... it would be right on the Gulf... but it also would be a logistical nightmare because of traffic... parking etc...

2 - A region in St. Pete/Clearwater that is just west of the Howard Frankland bridge... this would probably appease the folks in Pinellas County... but still bring the ballpark close to those in Tampa and Orlando...

3 - On the eastern edge of Tampa... near the Hard Rock Hotel and Ford Ampitheatre... might be the best site... but would take some doing because of the lease at the Trop...

None of this is going to happen for at least 7-10 years...

Sorry for being so long written...

Oh by the way... Fenway... people still fly in and out of Tampa International... better that 19 million did in '05... a 10% increase from 04... for what its worth...

Is this Wills? Really?

PaulDrake
12-04-2006, 09:31 AM
Is this Wills? Really? It's great to hear from him.

fquaye149
12-04-2006, 09:32 AM
It's great to hear from him.

so it is wills? cool!:gulp:

Fenway
12-04-2006, 09:33 AM
Oh by the way... Fenway... people still fly in and out of Tampa International... better that 19 million did in '05... a 10% increase from 04... for what its worth...

I love TPA Airport it is my favorite. I was just pointing out it is much easier to get a nonstop flight to Orlando from just about anywhere in the US.

Orlando (http://florida.airportbug.org/city_ORLANDO.html)(MCO (http://florida.airportbug.org/airport-3897.html)) with a total of 33,907,396 passengers

Obviously that is because of "The Mouse"

- A region in St. Pete/Clearwater that is just west of the Howard Frankland bridge... this would probably appease the folks in Pinellas County... but still bring the ballpark close to those in Tampa and Orlando...


I agree. The area known as Gateway was where it should have been built. But for whatever reason the city chose a location where a gas tank once stood. I don't know why people don't like driving on I-275 but that seems to be the case.

Bump34
12-04-2006, 10:50 AM
Yes its me... WSI is still the best way to keep up to date on what is going on with the White Sox and for that matter baseball too!!!

Keep up the good work!!! :gulp::gulp::gulp:

Hangar18
12-04-2006, 11:04 AM
I agree, they need to get out of that stadium .........

Fenway
12-04-2006, 11:21 AM
The team is far better hands since Vince Naimoli stopped being involved.

The Trop is a lot better now than it was the first few seasons. They have lowered the sound level on the music, now have an organist and is now the home of the Ted Williams Museum. Believe me it is far from the worst MLB park I have ever been in.

Last year they played very well at home but they were a complete disaster on the road as they won only 3 games away from the Trop after July 1.

I want Mags back
12-04-2006, 11:34 AM
*******Stupid and Crazy Idea tag*******


what if Disney bought the Devil Rays and moved them to Disney World. It could be a great money maker for them, as people would vacation to WDW while there own team is in town, go to the theme parks, and then see there team play at night. It would certainly bring people into disney world more often

CHISOXFAN13
12-04-2006, 11:39 AM
*******Stupid and Crazy Idea tag*******


what if Disney bought the Devil Rays and moved them to Disney World. It could be a great money maker for them, as people would vacation to WDW while there own team is in town, go to the theme parks, and then see there team play at night. It would certainly bring people into disney world more often

As someone who has been to WDW several times of the last few years, they don;t need any more people in the parks. It's crowded every day of the year.

Fenway
12-04-2006, 11:41 AM
*******Stupid and Crazy Idea tag*******


what if Disney bought the Devil Rays and moved them to Disney World. It could be a great money maker for them, as people would vacation to WDW while there own team is in town, go to the theme parks, and then see there team play at night. It would certainly bring people into disney world more often

I doubt you would ever see Disney own a team again after the problems they had in Anaheim.

I want Mags back
12-04-2006, 04:38 PM
As someone who has been to WDW several times of the last few years, they don;t need any more people in the parks. It's crowded every day of the year.

really. didnt know that. I would think interest would drop over time. guess not

PKalltheway
12-04-2006, 06:15 PM
1995, not 1991.
I was referring to their first winning season, not their first playoff appearance. They went 83-79 in 1991.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/