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Tampa Bay Area Mid 1980s stadium for Twins?

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  • Tampa Bay Area Mid 1980s stadium for Twins?

    The Twins came very close in 1985-86 to moving to Tampa. Where were they going to play? I always thought it was the Dome the Rays play at now, but I read that stadium wasn't around then. I fairly sure they were going to play in some dome in Tampa. Was there another domed facility in the 80s they could've played at if they moved to Tampa? I was around 12 at the time so it is entirely possible I'm off base here.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kitty Kaat View Post
    The Twins came very close in 1985-86 to moving to Tampa. Where were they going to play? I always thought it was the Dome the Rays play at now, but I read that stadium wasn't around then. I fairly sure they were going to play in some dome in Tampa. Was there another domed facility in the 80s they could've played at if they moved to Tampa? I was around 12 at the time so it is entirely possible I'm off base here.
    I vaguely remember in the long history of Tampa Bay seeking a MLB franchise hearing about a proposal to expand Al Lang Stadium. Perhaps that was the plan for the Twins.

    But plans for the Suncoast Dome (Tropicana Field) dated back to the mid 1980s, I think.

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    • #3
      Maybe the Twins had plans to move there and the Suncoast Dome was going to be built for them to play in. Was the Suncoast Dome built to lure a team to town? What was it used for before the Rays arrived?

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      • #4
        In 1996 I was on vacation in Florida, my family and I went to a Tampa Bay Lightning playoff game vs. the Flyers at the then "Thunder Dome". We probably had the worst seats in the house, as I recall we were way up in the upper deck and as far left to the ice as possible....I believe were were in what would now be the upper deck on the 3rd base side
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kitty Kaat View Post
          Maybe the Twins had plans to move there and the Suncoast Dome was going to be built for them to play in. Was the Suncoast Dome built to lure a team to town? What was it used for before the Rays arrived?
          The Twinkies were going to play in an expanded Al Lang Field until the Suncoast Dome was finished in 1990.

          Yes, it was built to lure a team to town. After several teams (Rangers, Twins, Mariners, A's, and Giants) flirted with coming to the Tampa Bay area, the Dome was built with the prospect of luring an expansion team. MLB advised St. Petersburg not to build it, but they did anyway.

          After the way that MLB screwed, (yes, I said screwed) the Tampa Bay area over and let Peter Magowan buy the Giants for several million less than what the Tampa Bay investors were offering so they could stay in San Fransisco.

          Bill White is an evil man who changed the rules of the sale several times in favor of the Magowan bid.

          Anyway, the Suncoast Dome played host to Arena Football's Tampa Bay Storm, the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, the 1999 NCAA Final Four, concerts and conventions.

          The Lightning had at one time the Top 25 single game attendance records until the NHL artificially bloated attendance with games played outdoors in Edmonton and Buffalo.

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          • #6
            picture of the dome with hockey, our seats were in the top right corner of the photo
            Attached Files
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mattingly85MVP View Post
              In 1996 I was on vacation in Florida, my family and I went to a Tampa Bay Lightning playoff game vs. the Flyers at the then "Thunder Dome". We probably had the worst seats in the house, as I recall we were way up in the upper deck and as far left to the ice as possible....I believe were were in what would now be the upper deck on the 3rd base side
              When the Lightning played at The Dome, season tickets in the upper deck deck sold for $99.

              Speaking of games at The Dome, I was at the Bolts-Jets game in St. Pete the night that the Jets had announced they were going to move to Phoenix.

              And, my cousin was pictured on a hockey card as he had 2nd row seats on the aisle behind the glass at the blueline. Kinda cool.

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              • #8
                Why were the Twins thinking about moving to Tampa Bay three or four years after they had just moved into the Metrodome in 1982? Was the Metrodome arrangement working out so badly that they already wanted out?
                1997 2003
                Parks I've visited: 30 for 30, plus 5 closed

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                • #9
                  One More

                  Don't forget that there was also a deal in the making to take the White Sox to Tampa.

                  But then agin the Sox were also in deals to take the team all over the country through the years: Milwaukee, Louisville, Tampa, ....

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                  • #10
                    Calvin Griffith was losing money and that is something he couldn't take for very long. The Metrodome arrangement the Twins have and did from the beginning is they don't make much money on concessions. That money is spread out between other tenants in the dome like the Vikings. The new stadium will help out a lot in this area.

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                    • #11
                      From the Twins' website:

                      The 1984 season began with off-field controversies grabbing the headlines. Griffith had a 20-year contract with the Metrodome which stated the club had to draw an average of 1.4 million fans in any three year period or he could break the lease and move the team. Griffith was threatening to exercise this option and move the Twins to Tampa, Florida. A group of local civic leaders banded together in an attempt to purchase enough tickets to gain support to keep the Twins in Minnesota. From mid-May to late-June, they administered a ticket buyout. On June 22, prominent local businessman Carl Pohlad stepped forward and signed an agreement in principle to purchase the team from Griffith and his sister, Mrs. Thelma Griffith Haynes, and keep the Twins in Minnesota. This ended the buyout plan, and on September 7, the deal was finalized ending an era of 72 years in which the Griffith family controlled the ballclub.
                      http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/h.../timeline3.jsp

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Reds41 View Post
                        After the way that MLB screwed, (yes, I said screwed) the Tampa Bay area over and let Peter Magowan buy the Giants for several million less than what the Tampa Bay investors were offering so they could stay in San Fransisco.

                        Bill White is an evil man who changed the rules of the sale several times in favor of the Magowan bid.
                        A t-shirt displaying the words "Hey, baseball!" over a baseball glove with an extended middle finger was a big seller in Tampa after that fiasco. I wore mine often.

                        Also, Wayne Huizinga owned the Marlins at the time and supposedly lobbied hard behind the scenes to prevent another team from entering "his" market. He owned Blockbuster at the time, and a local boycott of BB stores forced to closure of a couple of them.

                        Good times...

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                        • #13
                          So you Tampa guys think that it is in the best interests of the game to have an established team leave its town when a hometown buyer wants to keep it there? And it would have been better for the Giants to leave SF where they are now playing in one of the most beautiful venues in the game to come to Tampa and play in a joke toilet? Whatever you're drinking, pass it around.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kentucky Bomber View Post
                            So you Tampa guys think that it is in the best interests of the game to have an established team leave its town when a hometown buyer wants to keep it there? And it would have been better for the Giants to leave SF where they are now playing in one of the most beautiful venues in the game to come to Tampa and play in a joke toilet? Whatever you're drinking, pass it around.
                            If that's baseball's policy, then make it official. The Giants were for sale, Tampa investors had the best bid, and the bid was accepted amid much fanfare here.

                            Only months later did baseball change the rules and disallowed the sale. Not the best way to handle it, imo, and that slight helped to get the Rays off to a bad start.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kentucky Bomber View Post
                              So you Tampa guys think that it is in the best interests of the game to have an established team leave its town when a hometown buyer wants to keep it there? And it would have been better for the Giants to leave SF where they are now playing in one of the most beautiful venues in the game to come to Tampa and play in a joke toilet? Whatever you're drinking, pass it around.
                              You sound like Bart Giamatti, Fay Vincent and Bud Selig (THE Evil Empire) with their "best interest of baseball" rhetoric, which IMO, is not a good thing.

                              It was several months after the Tampa Bay sale was signed, sealed, but not delivered, that the Magowan bid emerged and after Bill White had changed the "final" dates several times for a local bid to be found.

                              If the Tampa Bay bid was made, solid, and ready to proceed, was a very bad business decision on the part of MLB to not allow it. If MLB had not promised an expansion franchise next go around, the Tampa Bay investors would have sued, the Florida legislators would have had baseball's Anti-Trust exemption pulled and baseball would be full of Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates and (then) Montreal Expos.

                              Yes, it was a bad decision to not let the Giants leave SF for Tampa Bay:
                              1. There would be no woeful Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays.
                              2. The stadium could be renovated up to better standards.
                              3. The Oakland A's would not be moving to Fremont, CA.
                              4. There would have been a cross-state rivalry with the Florida Marlins that would have benefited both franchises.

                              BTW...have you ever been to The Trop in the last two years?

                              If it had not been for the Tampa Bay fiasco, do you think there would be a "Telephone Park" now? No. They would still be playing in Candlestick Park.

                              No offense, but you sound like one of those Brooklyn Dodger whiners that are still boo-hooing 50 years after the move to Los Angeles instead of a Yankee fan.

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