Tampa’s New Mayor Wants The Rays In Town

Try, try again!

Tampa Mayor-elect Jane Castor is the latest person to claim that they will solve the Tampa Bay Rays stadium problem.  Castor said she will do whatever she can to get Stu Sternberg’s St. Petersburg-based Major League Baseball franchise to move across the bay and into Tampa. Castor has a difficult task ahead. The Rays franchise is obligated to play in St. Petersburg through 2027. Past stadium proposals have failed. Sternberg wanted to get his Ybor City Tampa baseball park plan done by December 31, 2018 so he could get out of his St. Petersburg, Florida 30 year lease and begin a four or five year march across the bay to Tampa, The scheme went awry. A contingency plan was revealed after the start of 2019 calendar year and it included closing the St. Petersburg domed stadium’s upper deck to create a more intimate setting. What the Rays ownership did was to create ticket scarcity and play to a fan’s urgency to buy a ticket to a Rays’ game because if the fan doesn’t act quickly, the seat may be gone. Sternberg and Rays’ ownership have been thinking of limiting the number of people who can buy tickets for a game for a while.

The Rays’ ownership group identified what type of fan they wanted in the Ybor City building.  There were just 28,216 seats which meant a few things. There would be ticket scarcity which meant that fewer casual baseball fans who might want to make a day or night of it at the ballpark as a spur of the moment thing had to plan ahead. Ticket prices would also be very high. The ownership would cater to customers who are willing to spend more on seats and would use in venue restaurants and eateries. Major League Baseball doesn’t even pretend to want the average baseball fan in the building.

Yonny Chirinos
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Yonny Chirinos reacts after getting New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton to ground into a double play to end the top of the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)