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  • Proposed Rays Stadium

    Trop haters rejoice!

    linky

    In a nutshell, the Rays want to build a stadium just a little ways down the street from the Trop on the St. Pete waterfront at the current site of minor league/spring training Al Lang Stadium. It would not be retractable roof job, but would have some kind of innovative sail-like system to shield from rain and sun. More details (and a scale model) are supposed to be released in the next few weeks.

    Technically, the Rays would be breaking their lease. But they hope the city will go along because 1) they're staying in town, 2) they're offering to put up 1/3 of the cost 3) they'd help the city sell the land where the Trop now sits to a redeveloper to cover another large chunk, and 4) they'd lobby the state to cover whatever remains, all to minimize extra cost to the city and get a deal done.

    Personally, it sounds good to me. I hope management realizes, tho, that if they would just sniff .500, they'd put 30,000 people in the stands no matter where they play. Instead of changing the team name and uniforms and talking about a new stadium, all they really need to do is add the few more pieces needed to make this team competitive if they wanna generate real excitement.
    Last edited by zengator; 11-10-2007, 01:53 PM. Reason: fixed

  • #2
    BTW, if this stadium is actually built (early odds are 60-40 in favor, imo), I'm going to post pictures of the construction every few days and wax poetically on and on about how they should have integrated more of the history and romance of the old Tropicana Field into the new place.

    So y'all prepare yourselves now...

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    • #3
      Sounds good to me. I've never been to Tropicana but I've seen the outside and it's a weird looking stadium on the outside and it's quite ugly. From the telecast it looks quite dark and unpleasant. A stadium by the bay might bring a few more fans and it'll make for a nice scenary, but it's not gonna be that big. I think a new stadium will do well for the new identitiy for the Rays.
      The 27 Time World Series Champions New York Yankees!

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      • #4
        I think this is a good move. This management deserves a better place than the hell hole they are in now.

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        • #5
          For the record (once again), THE TROP IS REALLY NOT THAT BAD!!! It's not dark, it's not unpleasant, the amenities are great, and the sightlines are good from pretty much anywhere. And when full, it's has a pretty good atmosphere for baseball.

          BUT, a smaller, picturesque waterfront stadium does sound very nice, tho...
          Last edited by zengator; 11-10-2007, 01:47 PM. Reason: fixed

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          • #6
            i've only been to the trop once but heres my take.

            when i first walked in it felt so weird, like i was at a football game. but eventually after walking around the whole place and checking out the random stuff (ray touch tank, etc) i liked it a lot. i'm not a fan of indoors baseball but i had been at a marlins game at dolphins stadium the night before and it was GROSS. really really hot, really humid, no breeze. and that was at like 8pm. so a roof or a retractable roof or something like that is needed in florida.
            as for a new stadium attracting more attendance. i won't entirely buy it. if the stadium was absolutely horrible or really expensive then i could see it but they have free parking and plenty of cheap seats! the problem is they have been around 10 years and are always in last place. i hate fair weathered fans but the previous owner was a dick and they never seemed to want to put a good team on the field, just collect the luxury tax money and not spend it.
            so i say, keep the trop but SPEND MONEY. i'm not saying spending yankee/red sox money but do more than you do now.
            and that whole dropping the devil rays to become rays as in rays of sun thing is TERRIBLE. those new uniforms are so laughable. the green uniforms were unique and pretty nice. so keep crawford and kazmir and build a contender and people will come.

            my 2 cents.

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            • #7
              What happened to the old design, the one with the huge glass windows in CF that was posted in the Ballparks forum a few months ago, is that the one you're talking about?

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              • #8
                Unless they build this thing on the other side of the bay they'd better change thier name to the St. Petersburg Rays because they will continue to have a hard time drawing folks from elsewhere.

                As a former resident of Orlando who tried to support his local MLB team, the commute to the Trop is soul crushing. It's bad enough that Tampa is more than an hour away along an I-4 that is prone to random and inexplicable traffic in the middle of nowhere, but when you get to Tampa you still have close to an hour (barring more random, inexplicable traffic) until you get to the stadium. Try as I did to get out to see a few games a year, I just didn't have it in me to commit an entire day and close to a paycheck in gas, food, parking, tickets, food, and gas. Plus, the new stadium may be without local parking?!

                The Al Lang site is a wonderful place and would lend itself to a McCovey's Cove expirience... if only it had a San Fran sized baseball support to fill it.

                Tampa is MLB (and NHL, NFL, and probably NBA), St. Pete is (wonderfully) AAA.

                It's a great plan, great site, and (potentially) great stadium, but if the fans won't come, why build it?
                Last edited by JohnCropp; 11-10-2007, 04:31 PM.

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                • #9
                  It looks like an awesome location to build a stadium. I'll be anxiously awaiting the proposed designs.

                  For the record (once again), THE TROP IS REALLY NOT THAT BAD!!! It's not dark, it's not unpleasant, the amenities are great, and the sightlines are good from pretty much anywhere. And when full, it's has a pretty good atmosphere for baseball.
                  Now, I have never been to the Trop so I'll take your word on these things. But from a television standpoint the Trop is terrible. It's drab (the concrete walls in the outfield contribute alot to this), it's empty and it has ugly turf. These are, in my opinion, the reasons the stadium gets such a bad wrap.
                  RIP - HGF [1937-2009]

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                  • #10
                    The other design from a few months ago was something that the Tampa Tribune came up with. We dunno if the new stadium design will include any of those ideas, since no details have been announced yet. I hope so; it was very nice, imo.

                    Orlando is too far to be a consistent source of fans, especially season ticket holders. Doesn't matter; the population of the greater Tampa Bay area is more than enough to support an MLB team - if they're at least mediocre. Along those lines, Rays management is trying to draw fans from the Manatee/Sarasota county area by building a new spring training complex down there for 2009.

                    And, to support what typed, fans did come to the Trop when the team was good for one brief shining moment. It was 3 or 4 years ago during the Piniella era when the Rays got on a double-digit winning streak on the road. They came home to face the Marlins and some other opponent that usually doesn't draw a crowd, but there were 30,000+ in the stands for the homestand and the Trop was rockin'.

                    Of course, the Rays returned to form and sunk like a stone to near the bottom of the AL east (I think that was the (only) year they escaped last place), but it proved that the area will support a winner.

                    It happened with the Bucs (who started 0-26 and set the NFL record for most consecutive 10+ loss seasons) and it happened with the Lightning (who had the worst back-to-back seasons in NHL history). It'll happen with the Rays as well, with or without a spiffy new stadium, if they just field a competitive team.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brewcrew82 View Post
                      It looks like an awesome location to build a stadium. I'll be anxiously awaiting the proposed designs.



                      Now, I have never been to the Trop so I'll take your word on these things. But from a television standpoint the Trop is terrible. It's drab (the concrete walls in the outfield contribute alot to this), it's empty and it has ugly turf. These are, in my opinion, the reasons the stadium gets such a bad wrap.
                      I'll give you the turf and the empty seats, but the outfield walls have never been concrete.

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                      • #12
                        I was referring to the concrete walls beyond the seats, not the fences. The seats end and its just a dull wall intil it reaches the roof.

                        Sorry for any confusion. My bad.
                        RIP - HGF [1937-2009]

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by brewcrew82 View Post
                          I was referring to the concrete walls beyond the seats, not the fences. The seats end and its just a dull wall intil it reaches the roof.

                          Sorry for any confusion. My bad.
                          Oh, gotcha. Yeah, that was bad, but it's not like that any more, as you can see by the photo of RF. And LF has the deck (where the photo was taken from, actually).

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                          • #14
                            I read about this.

                            Frankly, I think some of the criticism of Tropicana Field is undue (besides the fact that it is a dome with artificial turf, which will always be a negative). It was built for baseball first and foremost, which ran counter to most of the ballparks built in the 1960s-1980s. And some of the features they've added since the Devil Rays/Rays came to town have also added to the place. I'd venture to say if they took off the dome and opened up the area behind the outfield, it would actually be quite a pleasant ballpark to see a game, much like Kauffman Stadium.

                            That being said, a waterfront site on the Al Lang property would be most excellent, other than the fact it might be limited in size. If they can figure out a way for the funding (no easy task, especially in Florida--just ask the Marlins!) it would be great for Devil--err I mean Rays fans to have a first class ballpark to truly be proud of.

                            Maybe it is all unnecessary and all the Rays need to build a good fanbase is a winning team (which they haven't had in 10 years.) On the other hand, across the Bay all it took was for the Buccanneers to change their uniforms and announce plans for a new stadium for them to be transformed from the perrenial joke of the NFL to a solid, established pro football franchise with a loyal fanbase. So maybe there is some method to the madness.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zengator View Post

                              Technically, the Rays would be breaking their lease. But they hope the city will go along because 1) they're staying in town, 2) they're offering to put up 1/3 of the cost 3) they'd help the city sell the land where the Trop now sits to a redeveloper to cover another large chunk, and 4) they'd lobby the state to cover whatever remains, all to minimize extra cost to the city and get a deal done.
                              Number 4's gonna be the kicker. The Marlins have basically accomplished 1-2 already (#3 is not necessary as Dolphin Stadium will continue to host football, but there has been talk about selloff of other city owned vacant land to pay for the park), but when it comes to #4, they've been stuck on that one for 5-6 years now.

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