Yesterday’s baseball opening day also featured the debut of the new improvements to the Tampa Bay Rays‘ Tropicana Field, which include a new concourse ringing the stadium and a new wooden “porch” in the batter’s eye in center field. The Tampa Bay Times headlined that these changes were drawing “raves” from fans, though the tone of the actual comments was more along the lines of this one: “You can see all the people. It makes it seem more like ballparks in other cities.”
The Times also reported that “the Rays spent about $750,000 on the renovations,” which is only true in the sense they spent somebody else’s money on it: The renovation cash came from a city-funded capital project fund that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg can dip into with city permission. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — this was a capital project, and it’s a capital projects fund — but it might be worth reporting that accurately in the paper, even in a story in the “human interest” section.
Meanwhile, Sternberg says he still plans to do unspecified things to push for a new stadium in the nearish future:
The team’s principal owner, Stuart Sternberg, told reporters before the game that he has not met since February with newly elected St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, but expected they would continue talking and “things will happen” this year — though he didn’t know what.
And the Rays won! And sold out, albeit at a newly reduced capacity of 31,042. Only 80 more home games to go!