Originally Posted by LITTLE NELL
Tampa Tribune article today about a Tuesday meeting with Rays owner Sternberg and area politicos. Amazing figure for upcoming season; only 300 season ticket accounts from St. Pete which comes out to about 1000 fans a game from St. Pete season ticket sales. Sternberg stated that there are just not enough people from St. Pete that are supporting the team. The team must be moved closer to downtown Tampa or the Carillon area in North Pinellas county. Sternberg feels that the team can draw an average of close to 30,000 a game with a move (I know of another team that would love to average 30,000 a game). The Lightning are selling out the Forum with 19,000 a game so it's quite possible that the Rays could get close to 30,000 a game in a new stadium as I'm sure there are a lot more baseball fans than hockey fans in the TB area.
Pretty much sums up the challenge the Rays face. I actually think downtown St. Pete is nicer/prettier than downtown Tampa, however it's not the epicenter of professional sports for the area.
Out of all the proposed locations, my favorite location and the site I think the Rays would be most successful is downtown Tampa next to the Times Forum. The land is begging to be developed and combined with Lightning hockey, concert events and the Channelside arts & entertainment venues, I think the Rays would do well there, especially if the ballpark is state of the art with a retractable roof.
The Carillon concept is nice, however I don't think it will fix the attendance problem based on the location.