With the Tampa Bay Rays playing their home opener last night, the St. Petersburg Times reported that fans at Tropicana Field “had clear thoughts on what they want, and don’t want, to see happen.” Those clear thoughts included:
- If the Rays have a good year, it “could start a domino effect” for a new stadium.
- “If we win it all, it’s still not going to make the Trop the Taj Mahal.”
- “To build a whole new stadium when this one is perfectly fine does not make sense to me, fiscally.”
Those are clear individually, I suppose, though it’s hard to say what they add up to. And they’re certainly clearer than the statements by Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, who ignored Noah Pransky’s call to be more directly involved in the stadium process; asked whether he’d support options for a possible move to Hillsborough County included in the ABC Coalition report, Sternberg replied: “I didn’t disagree with much of what they said in the report,” adding, “I don’t expect to be mouthing off or anything. We’ll take it day by day.”
ESPN’s Rob Neyer, meanwhile, noting that the Rays’ lease lasts through 2027, says he doesn’t expect them to still be playing there then, “but what happens between now and then, I’m having a hard time seeing.” Him and Sternberg both, I imagine.