Monday, June 21, 2010

New Rays' ballpark? Good luck

So Rays' owner Stuart Sternberg wants a new stadium, preferably in Tampa.

I hope he succeeds.

The Rays are a regional asset, indeed, and they're spinning their wheels at the Trop.

Just don't hold your breath, Stu.

Unless Florida's economy gets markedly better and soon, and the current public mindset about financing a professional sports stadium changes, I have serious doubts about a new Rays' ballpark coming to fruition.

On the other hand, if Tampa's business, civic and political leaders are intent on making it happen, I imagine there are some creative ways to put together a financial package and pull it off.

If the Florida Marlins can do it, why not the Rays?

Of course, Miami's a different world.

I used to think the Trop was OK, given its location for us folks south of the Skyway.

Not anymore.

The Bradenton Marauders are why.

Since the Florida State League came to Bradenton this year, I prefer spending my time and my money at McKechnie Field enjoying professional baseball in my backyard.

I do hope the Rays' owner gets what he wants, especially for all of the loyal fans I see around town sporting Rays' gear.

Me? I've got my hometown team and I know they and the Mack are here for a good long time.

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