The Tampa Bay Rays have been wanting, hoping and praying to get a new stadium. When you have the talent that the Rays have like third baseman Evan Longoria, star left handed pitcher David Price along with the young stars like Wil Myers and Chris Archer they deserve a first class stadium.
Yesterday at a gathering of hospitality officials Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said that the time could be right for a new Rays stadium to be built in his city. Buckhorn is attempting to capitalize on economic development momentum that’s generated new projects and jobs in Tampa in recent weeks.
He told the group that: “It’s either going to be Tampa or someplace else, not St. Petersburg,” Buckhorn told 100 members attending the Hillsborough County Hotel and Motel Association’s annual luncheon. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig have long wanted to see a new stadium in the Tampa.
Tropicana Field is by far the worst stadium in all of baseball, and the Rays continue to astound the baseball world despite the small crowds and incredibly small payroll. The team of GM Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon have be together eight years this month. The duo has proven that they can be among the elite teams in baseball, and they have all of baseball using their template.
The Rays are one those rare teams that actually deserve a new home unlike their cross state “pals” the Miami Marlins who found a very creative way to get Dade County to give them a new building. Tampa is with a one hour drive of over 1.3 million people making it the perfect place for a stadium in central Florida.
It is great to see Mayor Buckhorn take up the charge for a new ball park for the Rays. If MLB in the Tampa Bay area is ever going to make it — and I really think that it can — then a new stadium must be built in Tampa and it needs to be done soon.