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Devil Rays Want A New Stadium

OrlandoFish

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Sternberg Says Rays Will Need New Stadium
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By CARTER GADDIS The Tampa Tribune

Published: May 8, 2007



TAMPA - How soon Tropicana Field will be relegated to the wrecking ball, Devil Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg does not exactly know.

Yet, even though 20 years remain on the lease with the city of St. Petersburg, it's not a matter of if the 17-year-old Trop will become obsolete, Sternberg said.

It's a matter of when.

''It's sort of like living in a house or an apartment,'' Sternberg said. ''At some point, it just pays to move rather than fix it up.''

Sternberg was quoted in Monday's edition of the New York Times as saying Tropicana Field ''has a shelf life of five years.''

Tuesday, he backed off the implication that the team would need a new stadium in five years. But, he added, it's very unlikely Tropicana Field would remain a viable building until the lease runs out in 2027.

And while he reiterated his vow that the franchise will never use the threat to move as leverage for a new stadium, he acknowledged there will come a time ? certainly within the next decade ? when the organization will begin to pursue a new stadium in earnest.

''It's a real issue for us,'' Sternberg said. ''It's going to remain one. As time goes by, we're going to have to focus on it.''

The ongoing effort by the Florida Marlins to secure from the Florida Legislature a $60-million sales tax rebate to help pay for a new stadium in South Florida has been watched closely by the Rays organization. The issue was left unresolved in the state senate when the legislative session ended on Friday.

Sternberg's ownership group has spent about $17 million over the past two seasons on renovations at the Trop. That's an indication, he said, that the team is willing to bide its time at the Trop until the timing is right to seek a new stadium.

''It's like they say, you follow the money,'' Sternberg said. ''If we were coming in there with the idea of trying to get out of there, I wouldn't have put two cents into the place. We'd be complaining left and right and looking to get out of here.''

Assuming the Marlins find financing for a new stadium (their lease with Dolphins Stadium ends in 2010), by the time the Oakland Athletics' new stadium opens in 2011, Tropicana Field, which was built in 1990, will be the sixth-oldest ballpark in the majors.

Only Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914), Kauffman Stadium (1973), Dodger Stadium (1962) and Rogers Centre (1989) will be older. Angels Stadium originally was built in 1966, but extensive renovations in 1997 made it essentially a new stadium.

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:blink: Ha Ha! Good Luck. Hope they're willing to pony up the cash themselves.
 

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Tampa Bay could probably get away with a 25-28K stadium IMO. Basically a souped up Minor League park, with the large lower bowl seating and an extended smaller upper bowl...think Autozone Park or Louisville Slugger Field on steroids. JMHO.

BTW, I said in a Marlins stadium thread the other day that the D-Rays would be wanting a stadium sooner than later and the statement was scoffed at. Guess I wasnt so wrong.
 

Reason63

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that just pisses me off if they did get a new stadium and we diddnt.
 

CapeFish

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They have a lease with the City of St. Pete. They are not getting out of it unless some very extraordinary dealing goes on. Like the Rays paying the rest of the Trop debt and then building the new ballpark in St. Pete.
 

MiRi

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I actually really like Tropicana. It's not beautiful, but I liked what they have to offer. We ate a big meal (BBQ beans, I think pulled pork, mac & cheese) for $8! It was so much food, we didn't even finish the entire plate. They had lots of other stuff to eat. Plus, it was nice watching a game under a roof. It was raining the night we were there. Oh yea, and the Rays tank is awesome.
 

SoFlaFish

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I actually really like Tropicana. It's not beautiful, but I liked what they have to offer. We ate a big meal (BBQ beans, I think pulled pork, mac & cheese) for $8! It was so much food, we didn't even finish the entire plate. They had lots of other stuff to eat. Plus, it was nice watching a game under a roof. It was raining the night we were there. Oh yea, and the Rays tank is awesome.

Well, to me watching a baseball game under a roof is unnatural and a horrible experience. Baseball is meant to be played outdoors on real grass. I hated going to games at Olympic Stadium because of the closed-in experience of being in a dome. I can also imagine that the atmosphere at Tropicana is probably similar to that of Stade Olympique when I attended games there between 1995 and 1997 (cold and concrete infested).

Maybe I'm just old school, but a retractable roof is as far as I'll go, and if we get one built down here, I would hope it stays open 90% of the time and only closes when it's raining. However, am I the only one out there who envisions listening to local sports radio in the year 2014 and hearing 150 calls from cranky old farts complaining why the roof wasn't closed for last night's game, yada yada yada . . . .
 

Shaq-Man

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However, am I the only one out there who envisions listening to local sports radio in the year 2014 and hearing 150 calls from cranky old farts complaining why the roof wasn't closed for last night's game, yada yada yada . . . .
that would be awesome.
 

CapeFish

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The Trop feels worse on TV than in person. I always enjoyed games there except for that Marlins-Rays game I went to once where Fish Fans outnumbered Rays Fans and the Rays Fans (drunk and rude) were unbearable.

I've had no other issues than that. I'm sure the recent renovations have been very helpful.
 

FishFanInPA

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The City of Tampa should come back to him that they want a baseball team.
 

CapeFish

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Tampa Tribune being torn to shreds over this article on 620 WDAE: http://www.620wdae.com/main.html

The Rays say they will need a stadium sometime in the future, but the papers make assumptions over use of public money/Rays leaving.

It is not a secret that the Tampa Tribune is Yankees>Rays in attitude, while the St. Pete Times (a big sponsor of the Rays) is liberal in its editorials.

But this situation should be interesting to watch....Tampon Bay Ballpark Battle :p
 

Mauer7

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I would hope it stays open 90% of the time and only closes when it's raining.
I wouldn't. I hate going to sunday games, because you practically melt. Same thing applies to all 1:05 games. I hate sweating so much that my underwear sticks to the seat and I have to buy three $15 water bottles, so I don't get completely dehyrdrated.
 

Mark

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I think it would be awesome if the Rays could get a nice stadium in the North Tampa area. But I don't exactly know when that would take place - they put 17 mil in the Trop over the last two years.

I don't mind the Trop, but I've never been the biggest fan of indoor baseball.
 

IrishHarrington

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I have no objections to the d-rays getting a stadium as long as we get ours first :)

btw i like the trop, much better than roasting and getting dehydrated at d.s. which is pretty much what happens to me every sunday
 

Mauer7

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they already have a their own stadium, and they can't draw fans. Why should they get a new one? ..and I doubt Stu puts up as much club money as Loria did.
 

Guest

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I also doubt they would want the $500+ million art deco stadium Loria has tried to get twice(Labat Stadium or whatever it was going to be called in Montreal was of the same weird type of alternative artistry that the original drawings for our stadium were).
 

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