What a game to kick off the Rays 20th season! The Boston Red Sox dominated for much of the game, but the Rays rallied, bringing in six runs and coming back to win 6-4.
The drumbeats are getting louder for a potential move from the only home the Rays have known, to a plot of land near the Port of Tampa and Ybor City.
The Trop has supporters.
“Downtown St. Pete is so easy to get to. So easy to get out of. And for people to say it’s a difficult trek to make, I think that’s ridiculous,” said Nicole Davids.
Rays fans leaving the Thursday game were asked if they’re willing to shell out tax money for construction of a new Rays stadium.
For a few, it’s an easy answer.
“Hillsborough’s gonna benefit, so, so yeah, Hillsborough tax payers,” said one fan.
Oh sure, Rays ownership is pledging to come up with a portion of the final cost.
But taxpayers could be footing part of the bill.
“I guess we’re gonna have to. Aren’t we? Yeah. It’s kind of a shame but you know what? It’ll be worth it in the end,” said Robert Hernandez.
The Rays insist moving the team from the dated Trop will do wonders for their horribly lagging attendance.
But a stadium with a roof, or an expensive retractable roof, could be a deal breaker.
“I’d be surprised if they get it passed. But at the end of the day, I’m sure they would bring a lot of business to the economy down there,” said Stephen Hedding.
History could rewrite itself.
“I don’t care what it costs. Tampa paid for the Bucs. They are still paying for the Bucs. We are one of 30 teams in the whole world for baseball,” said Al Lampert.
Any potential stadium in Ybor will be years away.
The team is focusing on Friday, when game two against the Red Sox gets underway.