Should The Rays Move?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Rays are working very hard to get out of Tropicana Field as soon as possible. They have a waterfront stadium picked out, and are taking the other steps required in hopes of passing the referendum. However, if the referendum fails, don't expect the Rays to wait until 2027, when the lease on their current stadium runs out. Owner Stuart Sternberg said that the stadium has become obsolete among other stadiums and moving to a new one should motivate players and fans. It has worked in D.C. so far with the Nationals, and it should with the Rays, who appear on the brink of being a serious contender in the American League.

I spoke with one MLB player (who asked to remain anonymous) through email and he said that Tropicana Field is a "dry place." He went on to say that having a stadium that looks like other stadiums would motivate players and fans: "Everyone would be happy, and it would probably show in the standings." Staying in Tampa is their number one choice, but it is possible they would move to Charlotte to start their new franchise. I doubt a move to Las Vegas would happen because that would throw off the whole standings alignment, so Charlotte seems like the best fit.

Nothing will be solved for a couple seasons, but if it doesn't look good for the Rays, we could start hearing rumors that they are planning a move. Any change for the Rays would probably be for the better.


Anonymous 7:34 AM CDT  

Yes. Las vegas or Portland, Ore. seem like logical destinations. Another team out west helps balance things geographically (too many eastern teams relative to the west). But the real reason is that if Fla fans don't support their teams, they don't deserve to have them.

Anonymous 8:51 AM CDT  

they should move to Montreal

Anonymous 11:06 AM CDT  

I like the idea of moving to Vegas. Will any of the 4 major sports ever move here because of the gambling problem? The mayor here is trying to lure a team here. Maybe if he gets one there will be more that will consider moving here. We have about 2 million people here, more than many of major league cities.

Anonymous 11:19 AM CDT  

Are you just throwing Charlotte out there based on a long-distanced assessment of the market? The Charlotte Knights (AAA-White Sox) are planning to build a stadium in downtown (Uptown) Charlotte that will open in 2010. There isn't sufficient population in the metro area to support a MLB franchise through an 81 game home schedule. To sustain a successful franchise you have got to be able to pull in 25,000 or so fans on a Wednesday night against the Marlins. I live in the area, and I can say without equivocation, that this town ain't quite there yet. MLB is at least 15 years away for Charlotte, if ever.

Anonymous 9:15 PM CDT  

charlotte has been great to professional teams such as hornets (nearly 400 consequetive sell outs) and panthers. raleigh might work too.