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Tampa Bay Rays Need New Stadium, MLB Says

Retiring MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday a new stadium is needed for the Tampa Bay Rays to continue playing in the area.

Retiring baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays need a new stadium, but that any future changes are up to team management. (Wikimedia Commons)
Retiring baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays need a new stadium, but that any future changes are up to team management. (Wikimedia Commons)

Retiring Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig says there’s a future for baseball in Tampa Bay, but the team needs a new stadium.

Selig spoke during a press conference for the MLB All-Star Game Tuesday in Minneapolis, where he said that Tampa Bay’s demographics are conducive to a successful team, but that the Tampa Bay Rays need new facilities for the team to succeed in the long-term.

“It’s obvious they need a new stadium,” Selig told the Tampa Bay Times. “All you have to do is look at the daily attendance figures.”

The Rays, who play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, have one of the lowest attendance records in the MLB with an average of over 16,000 spectators per game during the 2014 season, according to ESPN.

Selig said any changes to the Rays are up to the team’s principal owner Stu Sternberg.

According to The Tampa Tribune, the Rays are contracted to play at Tropicana Field through 2027. But, Sternberg says the contract is unsustainable for the team’s bottom line, and is attempting to renegotiate their contract with St. Petersburg on a new location.

Selig, 79, is slated to retire as MLB commissioner when his current term ends in January 2015.

RAJ (Bo) McMerritt July 16, 2014 at 02:55 PM
have been to a few stadiums including the Trop..it just doesn't feel like a baseball stadium and its not the indoor outdoor thing, it just does not have the umph...
Christina Brown July 16, 2014 at 04:25 PM
I have been a Rays fan for a long time. I have been in this stadium when the Rays lost almost every game and were not a "popular" team. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Tropicana Field. I personally love attending games there. So sad to see how people keep hating on the Trop. Hoping that the RAYS can maybe upgrade the suites and seats and keep playing there! I see no benefit to moving or building a new stadium anywhere else. For the people who will not drive from Hillsborough County shame on you. I drive and also have season tickets to the LIGHTNING and I just don't understand!
Inky's Mom July 16, 2014 at 06:40 PM
I agree with you Christina. In the middle of summer, you can catch a game at the Trop, which is temp controlled to 72 degrees. Way better than sweating your butt off in another stadium. Some upgrades, sure, but I do not see the correlation between the Trop and low attendance. It takes time for transplants to Tampa Bay to appreciate the local team instead of the one they watched in the town from which they came. Tampa is not the answer...they are Yankee fans and won't attend Rays games in Tampa any more than the Bucs draw.
Zack Mitchell July 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM
The Trop could use some upgrades but a new stadium? Like Miami? So we could go from 30th to 27th in attendance? And does Miami's stadium have the baseball umph? The Trop doesn't have that 'outdoor' baseball feel but bake your brains out at a late spring training game and see how your baseball umph feels.

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