What he said, Part II: the Rays
Like many around the Tampa Bay area, Tampasphere is getting quite weary of the entire (lack of real) discussion surrounding the Rays and Tropicana Field. This week brought a whole new batch of comments. Some of the oddest appeared in this article in the Times (plus some more in this Times article) which discussed the attempts by the Rays to bring more fans to the Trop while simultaneously trying to get a new stadium moving along.
While the entire issue is a muddle of the obvious mixed with conjecture, statistics, and intercity rivalry, the mayor of St. Petersburg, who has basically taken a do-nothing approach, said it best (though we do not think he meant to):
Why, yes, that summarizes it perfectly. The Rays are obviously trying to promote their product. Because their product is presently located in the Trop, they are trying to get people to go to the Trop. On the other hand, they are frustrated because the Trop is, and has been, obsolete as a Major League Baseball stadium, and everyone, aside from the Mayor of St. Petersburg, seems to know that. (We think he knows it, too, but what can you do?) The Rays are frustrated because there is no useful discussion regarding the new stadium issue, namely because the government in St. Petersburg is attempting to stifle any creative thinking about it and about relieving St. Petersburg of debt (Actually we find it odd that some claim to want to protect the St. Pete taxpayer and yet, by insisting on the stadium being located in St. Pete, are basically saying they want to put the St. Pete taxpayer on the hook for whatever public money goes into the project for decades to come).
But, frankly, instead of reiterating arguments, Tampasphere prefers to let THIS COLUMN from the Times explain it.