It Is Getting Late, Early In The Rays’ Stadium Game

Rays’ ownership still wants a new stadium.

2028 seems far in the future but for the Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership, it is around the corner. The Rays’ ownership lease with St. Petersburg is done in six seasons and time is beginning to grow short in the planning and eventual construction of a new ballpark for the 2028 season. It takes a number of years to get money and then build a stadium. It would also be helpful if there was a plot of land available for a stadium in Tampa or St. Petersburg. And that seemingly is on the mind of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor who may be on board with getting a stadium built in Tampa. But before Castor wants to make a commitment to get the mechanism moving that would lead to discussions about a new stadium, she wants to know what Rays’ owner Stu Sternberg and his partners are thinking in the fish or cut bait department. Does Rays’ ownership want to stay in St. Petersburg? Is Rays ownership ready to move to the other side of the bay in Tampa? In other words, according to the Tampa mayor, it is your move Stu Sternberg. “I think in short order, they’re going to have to come out and say, ‘This is the location that we want to be,’ because they’ve never said that, in Pinellas or Hillsborough,” Castor told the Tampa Bay Times. “We just need to get moving on this.”

A number of stadium plans have come and a number of stadium plans have gone. A proposal to build a Rays ballpark in Ybor City fell through in 2018 because public funding was not available. Then there was the Sister City plan which would have seen Rays’ home games split between somewhere in the Tampa Bay area and Montréal. MLB killed that notion.

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Jane Castor