Blog Entry

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

Posted on: February 8, 2008 1:31 pm

Why is it that as soon as a professional franchise mentions the words "new stadium", there are opposition groups banging down the doors of city hall?  Anyone who has been to a game at Tropicana Field can attest to the fact that the Rays are like a novelty baseball franchise.  We have an ownership group that is committed to building a winning team both on the field as well as off, but we have a population of complainers in this area that think the Rays should just play in the stadium that they have.  I can give you countless reasons why this new stadium should be built, but somehow I believe that no matter how good the reasons, citizens who are opposed to this development will never change their mind. 

The ownership group is investing in this team, even though you would not think this was the case if you listened to sports talk radio in this town the past few years.  Stu Sternberg is a smart businessman and he does not just spend money for the sake of spending money.  He has taken his time with this team, made prudent decisions on a personnel basis, and also made many improvements to the facilities. The renovations to the Trop in the past few years have made it a much more enjoyable experience to attend a ball game.  Unfortunately, no matter how many improvements are made to the Trop, it will remain an outdated baseball stadium that was in need of replacement before the Rays ever took the field there. 

Our new ownership group recognizes this situation, and instead of simply living with it they are trying to work out a suitable alternative to continuing to play there.  Recently the plans for a new stadium on the downtown waterfront were unveiled and with that came the opposition groups.  Citizens of St. Petersburg who think that they do not need the Rays and would be just fine without them.  I hate to tell you St. Pete, YOU ARE WRONG!!! 

This new stadium will bring increased tourism to the downtown area, which helps the restaurants, shops, hotels, and bars that we all love in the downtown area.  The stadium is not an eyesore, it is more of an attraction to hold not only the Rays but also concerts, fireworks, college games, highschool tournaments, and who knows what else.  The people against this project look at it as another pro team getting whatever they want at the cost of the taxpayers which usually is the case, but not in this situation. 

The development of the new stadium is going to be largely funded by the redevelopment of the old stadium, which is definately an area that needs to be redeveloped.  They are planning on putting up residential housing, hotels, retail stores, a movie theater, as well as many other components to the existing stadium grounds.  Although all of this is in the planning stages, we as a community need to get behind the Rays and support their efforts in making not only their operations better, but making the city better at the same time. 

Category: MLB
Tags: Rays Field

Since: Jul 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2008 10:36 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

bigmike, the stadium is well over 10 considering the Rays are in their second decade.  It has nothing to do with winning, not to mention Trop is one reason they suck, noone wants to play in a horrid, empty dome, with concrete artificial turf. Big stars will not risk it in any factor.  You also need to look at the costs presented to St Pete, it is not a billion for the park, it is close or over for everything they plan on doing in the region, in phases, with the stadium build first.  Your idea that not justifying building a park due to lack of attendance is silly frankly.  Should CLevelend not have built Jaobs considering 8000 a game went to old CLeveland Stadium?  Irrational and short sighted, you must be family to those who oppose and without any evidence on the contrary.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2008 10:33 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!


Since: Jul 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2008 10:30 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!


Amen!  THough I am not a fan of the Rays, I am a fan, so living in Palm Harbor, it is kind of hard to fly to Orioles games.  Instead, I get to go to that dump in a hood that one wrong turn deserves some sort of horror music.  The Dome was a mistake to build and its reasons were silly. Considering the average rainouts in Miami are 4-5 a year, it is a silly notion to cover a place that with the right skyline and innovations would make us comfy.  And the new park looks and sounds comfy. 

Trop is not 10 for whoever said that.  It was a quick build to lure several franchises to the area as Caddy has noted.  The seating is horrid, foul lines are horrid, you have to lean in others sightlines or bend the neck owl like. 

Knock it down, get solid investments on infrastructure that will help revenue and property tax much more than it does now.  Those craning that there should not be a park simply have never gone to a game in town, they hit Clearwater or Dunedin or have no idea what a park can do for a community. 

Since: Jul 11, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2008 10:26 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

Spoken like someone who has never lived in St. Petersburg in the summer.  You do realize how incredibly brutal the weather is down here in July and August.  As much as anyone, I enjoy the smell of the fresh cut green grass and believe baseball was meant to be played on it, and I also know what a positive impact the proposed stadium would have for my fair city.  As a fan, I want to relax and enjoy the game.  There is nothing relaxing about being drenched in sweat by the 3rd inning.  There is nothing relaxing about wondering all day how long of a rain delay there will be during tonight's game, because it rains, late afternoon or early evening EVERY DAY in the summer.  They say these problems are being addressed with a radical new stadium design that will provide some level of comfort, but trust me, unless there's an A.C. unit under every seat, I'll believe it when I see it.

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2008 8:48 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

While you bring up a valid point regarding the attendance, and I am guilty of not going nearly as much as I should, the stadium is a bit older than the team.  They actually built that stadium on land that was FREE because it was a dump site instead of land that they could have bought in the Gateway area on the water north of downtown.  The stadium was built to lure major league baseball here when they were talking about moving the San Francisco Giants here I believe it was around 1990.  When we did not get the Giants the Suncoast Dome/ThunderDome was home to the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team and the Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football Team.  The Lightning games were great there, and growing up it was fun to always win free tickets in their fan-appreciation area, but they eventually got the Ice Palace in downtown Tampa.  When the Devil Rays moved into the Trop they actually had to spend millions to renovate it to be a "baseball" stadium although it was built specifically for baseball.  As for a division title, please Mr. Selig, can we be in a division other than the American League East!!!  That move was nothing but greed from Vince Naimoli wanting the ticket sales from games against Boston and New York.  This town will support a good product, just look what happened when the Bucs got rid of Hugh Culverhouse and the Glazers started winning.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2008 7:23 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

Couldn't have said it better!!!! Tropicana Field or The Thunder Dome is a concrete shell.  The new stadium would look great next to the water in St. Pete.  Take down the big ugly concrete shell with the slanted roof, and build some housing and retail.  You don't dare take a wrong turn around Tropicana Field.  I was lucky enough to see the police department take down a door.  Give those folks something to hope for and a place to work, and build the Rays and new home.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2008 7:18 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

I admire your optimism when you say the revenue from a redeveloped stadium will create enough revenue to pay for a mew one.  A few questions if I may.  If they can generate extra dollars from an old park thats' use will be replicated by a new one, why not just  design a new park that will let you blah blah blah...

You could argue all day if you wanted to but I see movies all the time costing hundreds of millions, all done without taxpayer money and that's probably a bigger risk than any ball club would be. If THEY can do it why can't MLB? These Millionaires and Billionaires have tapped the taxpayer far too many times and it's time to turn off the spigot.  I say welfare to the rich must end!

Funny thing is, this is exactly the issue that drove me away from MLB in the first place.

I'm mad as helI an' I won't take it anymore! LOL

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2008 7:07 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

Whats the average attendance to a Rays game the past 5 years?

thats why people dont want a new staduim. the staduim is not even a decade old i think. didnt they just get in there in 1998. the team is always in last place. i dont blame the people for being in a uproar. if they won a World Series or even a Division title i think the support would be greater. people want quality before anything else. and the Rays lack of it brings no surprise to the backlash for a new stadium.

you say it would bring in new buisness to the area and be good for the downtown area. a new staduim costs around 1 Billion dollars. i believe the people would rather spend that money on maybe something alot better then a second rate MLB team. if the club was a power house who filled the staduim then it wouldnt be as bad. but drawing 14,000 fans a game doesnt justify the money spent on a new stadium.

i might be wrong. just my opinion.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2008 6:43 pm

Wake Up St. Petersburg!!!

Thanks... That area definately needs redevelopment.. This is what sports get when the depend on taxpayer money to build stadiums....

Great blog... thanks...

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or