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Rays moving to CT in future?


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Well there's definitely enough fans up there but I'm not sure the Boston faithful will embrace a second team (or NY a 3rd team).

The Rays are good enough to compete with them now. Put a loser up there and yeah, no one will ever follow them. But a winning team with a great farm system...it could work. I am sure people in CT and maybe RI would like to identify with their own team instead of following the Red Sox or Yankees.

But old, winning habits die hard.

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From across the Bay from the "Trop" I think at least one of the points in the article is valid. That being despite becoming the 08 AL Champs, the Rays still struggle in the seats. I personally only made one game at the Trop last year but friends and local news reports showed that fan showing wasn't as high as expected. However, I can say that since 08, Ray stickers, banners and flags are giving the local football team a run, something I haven't seen since moving here in 01. With the Buccaneers poor showing in this past season it's likely some locals are looking to see the Rays do better this year.

Yes, the location of the stadium has been given as reason for lack of butts in the seats but I don't know how much of a contribution it makes. The Trop actually sits closer to a major highway than OPACY does. What I think makes a BIGGER issue is that unlike alot of other stadiums/fields is that there is little close in draw to Tropicana Field other than the ball game. If you had to compare the Trop and OPACY, there is much more to do within walking distance from Oriole Park than the Trop. Unfortunately, alot of the other places they could move the Rays to in the Tampa Bay area would have to be built up to match that type of draw.

True, the Trop, which originally housed the local hockey team is not the best baseball venue, the team has done alot to try to make it more appealing both inside and out. In keeping with the "total entertainment" package being observed now days in all sports venues, the Trop does offer alot of things to keep those that can stay seated for all nine innings busy or entertained. From petting live manta rays to XBOX game room I think they cover the bases (I personally come to a game to watch a game).

JC La Torre's suggestion is, well, out there. Although there is divided opinion on the financial support Spring Training gives cities and communities in Florida, its unlikely those communities would just give up the teams if the MLB desired to move them elsewhere. Face it, Florida is like any other state in the US, you have your share of people that have lived in other states and carry their allegiances with them. Tampa has its fair share of New Yorkers and Philly expats. I would agree that Florida is not the only state hit hard by the economy and Gammons example of rural Florida could apply to both MA and NY as well.

I will believe a Rays move outside the state when the moving vans travel north.

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Interesting article...


September 21, 2009

Rays could leave Tampa Bay ... in a decade or two

The St. Petersburg Times has analyzed the Tampa Bay Rays' current lease, and concluded that while it indeed binds the team to playing at the Tropicana Dome through 2027 — in fact, the team can't even talk to other cities about moving until then — and includes potentially onerous penalties, it would become easier for the team to buy its way out as that date approaches.

Though the contact (actually a "use agreement") stipulates that the value of having the Rays play there can't be measured in dollars alone, lawyers contacted by the Times say that judges tend to prefer assigning damages than actually issuing injunctions forcing a team to stay put; and then too, "The practical effect of an injunction becomes less and less the older [the Tropicana contract] becomes," says local lawyer Michael Keane, who predicts that if no stadium is in the works by 2019, the Rays could pay $100 million or so to bolt.

That still leaves a good decade worth of leverage on St. Pete's side, but the Times argues that the city will need to play its cards right: "Jettison the Trop too quickly and you sacrifice leverage that translates into tax dollars. Push too closely to 2027 and good-bye baseball." The best bet might be using the threat of trapping the Rays at the Trop for another 18 years to get the team to cough up more than the one-third of construction costs that they'd previously offered for a new stadium. Especially since it's not like there are any other cities with major-league-ready stadiums and fan bases that could offer the Rays a better deal — though if they're really willing to wait two decades, maybe San Antonio will finally be ready.

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Obviously, this is in the infancy stages and no one seems to know the chances of this happening, but the reasoning seems sound to me. Putting the Rays smack in the middle of the two most profitable franchises could kill two birds with one stone.


Gee....it's nice to know that in a decade or two there will be something else in Connecticut beside insurance companies?

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Man it would suck if you are a Rays player, just buying that big bay front mansion in sunny Florida, and hear this: You are moving to Connecticut! AKA A terrible cold, dreary place! :eek:

CT is actually a really pleasant place to live. Granted it is cold during the winter, but you could certainly do worse.

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Sounds good to me!! Several more teams could be supported in the New York area. Still all of those teams would have a financial advantage over the rest of baseball IMO. While I'd feel bad for the few fans there are in Oakland I think they should move there as well.

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Remind me again the rationale behind tax-payer funded stadiums? Isn't the sell: "we HAVE to build a stadium or the team will leave!!" What do you think the odds are of a team paying for the stadium themselves and then looking to move three or four years later? You think the Giants are moving out of San Francisco anytime soon after building PacBell? What do you think the reaction of the private investors would be to that.

What a crock. Quite the "leverage" the city holds over the team. 1/3 of the costs. But heck it did its job. I bet whatever politicians got behind the "Bring Baseball to Central Florida" ticket are well into their second terms. Right now there is a politician in CT calling his retiring buddy in Tampa asking for his cliff notes.

/end rant

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