The Rays “seem to be making progress” on a new ballpark, principal owner Stuart Sternberg told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. While the organization has still been talking with Tampa officials about the possibility of building a long-awaited new stadium in that city, Sternberg said “we’ve been focused on” remaining in St. Petersburg, and a proposed plan that would see the Rays’ new home built near the current site of Tropicana Field.
The stadium would be the centerpiece of a major redevelopment project similar to other recent “ballpark villages” in Atlanta and St. Louis, as the Rays’ new yard would be surrounded by new housing, shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Nothing has been finalized about either the ballpark project or the larger revitalization project, as Sternberg said “We’re working at both and neither one is easy….The county and the city are really working beautifully together, so that’s part of the reason why we’re all optimistic.”
While the Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season, there has long been a push from ownership to figure out a new ballpark situation sooner rather than later, with the Rays at one point even exploring an idea to split their home schedule between Tampa and Montreal (in new ballparks in both cities). However, it does now appear that at least some momentum seems to be building towards the Rays staying in St. Pete, which must count as some relief to fans after years of speculation about a possible move.
With the Athletics now on the verge of officially moving from Oakland to Las Vegas, Sternberg commented on the situation, saying that “It’s in all of baseball’s interests to have the A’s and any baseball team on the firmest footing possible.” By this same logic, Sternberg supported commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to waive a relocation fee, noting that to help a team regain stability, it doesn’t fit for the league “to say ‘Look, we’re going to let you move and your revenues are going to go up but we’re going to take them all from you.’ ”
In some Rays news on the field, the team will get some reinforcements back from the injured list starting tomorrow, when Zach Eflin will activated to start Sunday’s game against the White Sox. Eflin’s placement on the 15-day IL was retroactive to April 8, but since his bout of back tightness proved to be minor, he’ll be able to return on the first day of eligibility. After signing a three-year, $40MM free agent deal with Tampa Bay during the offseason, Eflin looked sharp in his first two starts with his new club, posting a 3.27 ERA with 12 strikeouts and one walk over 11 innings.
Jose Siri was also off to an impressive start before beginning an IL stint on April 8, as a hamstring strain put the center fielder on the sidelines. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Kristie Ackert of the Tampa Bay Times) that Siri will be re-evaluated following a two-game minor league rehab assignment. Siri played the first of those two games yesterday as a DH with Triple-A Durham, and he’ll take today off before playing center field for Durham in Sunday’s contest.
If all goes well, Siri might be activated as early as Monday, when the Rays begin a series against Houston. By coincidence, the Astros were also the team who dealt Siri to Tampa last year at the trade deadline, and after showing his mettle as a defender, Siri has now started to break out at the plate. He hit .318/.333/.682 with two home runs in his first 24 plate appearances before suffering his hamstring strain.
Ryan Thompson also looks to be facing a “very minimal” IL stint, Cash said, which could mean the reliever might return from the 15-day injured list on April 28, when first eligible. Thompson suffered a right lat strain after posting a 3.18 ERA over his first 5 2/3 innings of work out of Tampa’s bullpen.
The timeline isn’t as clear for Tyler Glasnow, who was given an initial window of 6-to-8 weeks when he first suffered his Grade 2 oblique strain at the end of February. Cash said Glasnow was slated for two innings of live batting practice in extended Spring Training work on Monday, which comes on the heels of a pair of bullpen sessions earlier this month. The Rays are aiming for Glasnow to be ready by around the middle of May, once he is fully ramped up after missing such a big chunk of Spring Training work.
If his window is 6-8 weeks, why do you need Glasnow?
If the problem with Tropicana is the location, which is true, why are they focusing on the new one at the same location? I see a smokescreen.
I thought the same thing. Supposedly it is a hassle to get to the stadium so let’s build a new stadium in the same location???
I have heard a lot on these sites it is tough to get to the stadium, but I think it is in a great location, in terms of getting to it easy. Right off 275, super convenient if you are coming from the south, where I come from, and works out good coming from the north. I guess if you lived in the downtown Tampa area it would be easier if it was in Ybor or by the Lightning stadium. I just never understood this argument.
More like I want a new stadium but refuse to pay for it so it will be wherever anyone gives me a handout.
I have said the same thing, numerous times.
I think people have other reasons to not want to travel, to St.Pete and the traffic and distance, isn’t their main reason.
In which case, that’s on them.
If one wants to watch the game at the Trop, it is easily accessible and is the reason, why they will develop the Gas light district.
All those hoping for a move to Tampa, well, you have the Bucs and Lightning.
The Trop was built years before they even had a team and MLB demographics had little to do with it. It’s not, nor will ever be, a destination stadium such as Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Denver, SF, etc. No one goes to the Trop to spend the day, ar hang around after the game. The only thing to do is get stuck in the traffics.
I can’t speak for normal regular season games, but I love going to Ferg’s right across from the Trop before playoff games. I get there, at least, 4 hours before the game starts and they have a great atmosphere imop. Granted playoff games may be different than normal.
A person after my own heart.
Love going to the many destinations, blocks away from the Trop, earlier, before the game starts and enjoying conversations about the Rays. With fellow fans.
Very underrated and underreported, establishments in the area and across the street.
It is not easily accessible from the I4 corridor (Lakeland, Orlando). The main problem with St Pete is that it’s a condo community with no large businesses where thousands can go to a game after work.
Also, no mass transit. But that’s a problem with most any city in the south.
More truth in that sentence than a Buddhist and his disciples at the enlightenment stage.
Total redevelopment of the area. Retail, housing, stadium & restaurants. There is none of that currently at the Trop site.
You can redevelop the area all you want, but if people can’t get there or don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting there, it won’t help.
400 affordable housing. Retail. Have you been to the current Trop? Plus the new stadium will have fewer seats. Streets around the Trop is also seeing new housing going up.
It does seem worrisome with Manfred and Sternberg confirming that maximum profit (ideally with free taxpayer investments) is the most important thing for a franchise. Unclear why they’re still exempt from anti-trust legislation.
Kruk's Left Nut
I see what you did there.
The Rays have around 1.2 billion reasons to relocate the team of Florida doesn’t pay for a new stadium.
You need new material.
Laziest troll on this site.
Hired Gun 23
One thing is true, you’re right…they are the team of Florida.
Siri, look up “There the Tampa Rays, so why insist on building in St. Petersburg?”
They are the Tampa BAY Rays, like the Tampa BAY Buccaneers and Tampa BAY Lightning.
This means that all 3 teams represent, the entire BAY area.
The Rays are located in St.Petersburg a part of the BAY area.
You forgot to ask Siri. What comprises Tampa BAY.
Tampa isn’t the end all be all.
*They’re* the *Tampa Bay* Rays.
Siri, look up “how do I delete a post that makes me seem really poorly informed”
Class of the AL. Good on them.
If they do the development right and make it a destination all the so-called problems solve themselves.
One of the top 10 largest population metros and growing. MLB and the Rays are not leaving Tampa/stPete.
Technically the metro statistical area is 18th in the country but IS growing fast.