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Rays Not Married Forever To Trop


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Rays Not Married Forever To Trop

By Dick Scanlon

dick.scanlon@theledger.com

 

 

ST. PETERSBURG

The Devil Rays are here to stay, though not necessarily at Tropicana Field, Bud Selig proclaimed Wednesday night.

 

Contraction is dead, the commisioner said, because baseball's new economic system is working so well that trimming a few teams off the bottom won't be necessary after all.

 

In his first visit to Tropicana Field, Selig insisted he once had the unanimous approval of owners to pursue a plan to eliminate struggling franchises like the Devil Rays. According to Selig, all of that changed with the labor accord reached two years ago.

 

"(Contraction) is obviously off the table through this labor agreement, and I believe because of our new economic system," Selig said. "I think the system will work so well and continue to work so well there will not be any need for it."

 

What there may be a need for, Selig said, is a new stadium for the Devil Rays, who have been last in the standings every year and near the bottom in attendance every season since they joined the American League in 1998.

 

"Eventually, at some point, you're going to have to think about a new stadium which produces more revenues," Selig said. "I realize that's premature today, I want to say that very clearly. But it's tough competing with cities that have stadiums that produce a lot more revenue."

 

A commissioner stumping for a new stadium or arena hardly qualifies as news. That's what commissioners do. After proudly proclaiming that 17 teams have had new stadiums built since he became commissioner in 1992, Selig conceded it's easy to say every stadium needs to be replaced.

 

"To a certain extent it's true, except for the Cubs and the Red Sox," he said, "because they're in stadiums that are so good, and so historical, that both teams are virtually sold out for the season, and there's a mystique about it."

 

Nobody has ever said that about Tropicana Field. But so far, no one has come up with $500 million to replace it, or even a plan to replace it.

 

Vince Naimoli, the Rays' managing general partner and CEO, seemed a little taken back by Selig's statement.

 

"It's something we'll have to look at" Naimoli said. "I'm not sure what he had in mind."

 

Tropicana has been ridiculed since before the first pitch was thrown here, mostly by people from the other side of the bay and/or people who think that if God had meant for baseball to be played indoors, he would have created turf-eating cows.

 

Someday the Trop will have to be replaced, sure. Eventually. At some point.

 

"People say: `Well, new stadiums aren't the panacea' " Selig said. "It's true, they are not the panacea. But there are some cities -- for instance, let's take Detroit -- they couldn't continue in Tiger Stadium. At least this gives them new revenue to be competitive.

 

"But I think the Devil Rays right now, with their new ownership (referring to general partner Stuart Sternberg), our new system and everything else, are positioned right, and sometime in the future, they're going to have to think about a new stadium."

 

In the meantime, how about a new pitcher and some righthanded power?

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They have a 30 year lease expiring in 2027, unless they can convince the City of St. Pete and County of Penelas to let them go AND possibly build a new ballpark, The Trop and the D-Rays are married to each other. The Rays spent alot of money to make it into a ballpark again, so I doubt they would want to leave it and all the money they make from it.

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I don't get why all the MLB elitists keep on bashing Tampa. The ownership, fans, and players seem to like the Trop as their home for baseball and it has all the modern features of a ballpark.

 

Miami doesn't have a ballpark, but Tampa does. Let it be.

THeir fans who can only combine 17,000 a game.

 

Sure their not winning but that place has done nothing for them, then again either has their ownership.

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I don't get why all the MLB elitists keep on bashing Tampa. The ownership, fans, and players seem to like the Trop as their home for baseball and it has all the modern features of a ballpark.

 

Miami doesn't have a ballpark, but Tampa does. Let it be.

THeir fans who can only combine 17,000 a game.

 

Sure their not winning but that place has done nothing for them, then again either has their ownership. The fans detest the outgoing owner Namioli and the GM which they call Chuckles.

 

The have hope for their new owner and that he will be willing to spend the money. The Trop is not the problem and they know it. Selig isn't going to say that Vince and Chuckles are the problem so he blames it on the Trop.

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I like the Trop.

 

and their fans.

 

$.10

I join you in that. The Dome is the Rays perfect home. Once they play better, the place will get better. Even with 17k, it is alot more fun than Pro Player with the same amount of people because PPS is HUGE! But PPS is unique in which when you get all 65,000 in there, there is NO place in baseball that can match its atmosphere.

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The Trop may not be such a great place to play baseball but I think it's a better option than PPS.

the only thing that makes the trop better is that the rays are making some money off the facility, unlike the marlins :banghead

 

but in termas of the facilites, PPS > TROP

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The Trop may not be such a great place to play baseball but I think it's a better option than PPS.

the only thing that makes the trop better is that the rays are making some money off the facility, unlike the marlins :banghead

 

but in termas of the facilites, PPS > TROP I disagree, the Trop has so much more for the fans like the batter's eye restaurant and Center Field Street. It is much nicer than PPS, plus those food courts are well located while food courts at PPS have yet to be discovered.

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The Trop may not be such a great place to play baseball but I think it's a better option than PPS.

the only thing that makes the trop better is that the rays are making some money off the facility, unlike the marlins :banghead

 

but in termas of the facilites, PPS > TROP I disagree, the Trop has so much more for the fans like the batter's eye restaurant and Center Field Street. It is much nicer than PPS, plus those food courts are well located while food courts at PPS have yet to be discovered. i dont like anything about that park

the trop is very ugly. very, very ugly (inside and out)

 

who cares about food courts? all stadiums have food near every section, so food courts arent really a big deal

 

dont believe me? check out espn page 2

ballpark tour - the trop

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I've been to both and the biggest negative about the Trop is the sterile, white environment. What I mean is that it feels like you're playing inside a hospital room. I love seeing the sky and the outdoors at the Pro.

 

The food court is only attractive as the food is. I've eaten in both and the only thing the Trop has going for it is more brand name food spots. You won't see the Pelican Cafe in St. Pete.

 

Insofar as a neighborhood around the Trop, where is one? It's all industrial. There are no homes to speak of.

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