This is an archived version of a Field of Schemes article. Comments on this page are closed. To find the current version of the article with updated comments, click here.
June 25, 2008
Rays put stadium push on hold
The Tampa Bay Rays unexpectedly abandoned plans for a November stadium referendum today, saying they'll instead form a coalition of business and political leaders to seek "unity of purpose" on the stadium plan, with a possible vote in 2010.
The apparent reason for the about-face: Local political leaders were none too pleased with the short timetable, so the Rays decided that patience was the better part of valor. It's also possible that, what with the state second in the nation in foreclosures and the governor slashing the budget willy-nilly, this wasn't the best time to come asking for a couple hundred mil in public money for a new baseball stadium to replace the one that taxpayers just built 20 years ago.
As for whether the team will stick with its proposal for a waterfront stadium with a fabric roof, paid for in part by a land swap for the site of their current home, the Tropicana Dome, newly anointed coalition leader (and Progress Energy president) Jeff Lyash said, "I think the waterfront stadium is a viable option. I wouldn't foreclose that as an option going forward just because I think what we want to do is step back very broadly and try to identify all the possibilities." In other words: We're open to anything we think we can win a vote with.