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Tampa Bay Rays: Escape from the Trop


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Tampa Bay is a viable baseball market, its just that the population center is closer to the Tampa side of the bay rather that St Pete. Use the following photos as an example:

stpete_medium.png

Tampafinal-2_medium.png

The red circle is a 5 mile radius and blue circle is 10 miles. As you can see, nearly half of the population within a five mile radius of the Trop (St Pete) breathes through gills while most of population within ten miles does the same. As for the Tampa map, it now includes much more landmass than the Trop location allows for and gets the stadium close to major area traffic arteries such as I-75, I-275, the Crosstown Expressway, as well as US-92.

Also another point of information is the generations of fandoms from other areas who cannot give up their other teams. People like me (I'm 28) are the older end of the diehard majority of Rays fans, as we were early teens when Tampa Bay got the team. As kids grow up, they keep their teams so over time the Rays fans who began as kids become the diehard adult fans with the 25-30 crowd being the beginning of that movement.

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Also, there's the whole nowhere for them to really go thing.

Sure there is...its called Victory Field.

Sike. :P

If any kind of move gets tossed around, I think most of us would prefer to see some new incarnation of the Montreal Expos. Failing that, sheeit--I don't know. Tokyo, maybe?

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Tampa Bay is a viable baseball market, its just that the population center is closer to the Tampa side of the bay rather that St Pete. Use the following photos as an example:

stpete_medium.png

Tampafinal-2_medium.png

The red circle is a 5 mile radius and blue circle is 10 miles. As you can see, nearly half of the population within a five mile radius of the Trop (St Pete) breathes through gills while most of population within ten miles does the same. As for the Tampa map, it now includes much more landmass than the Trop location allows for and gets the stadium close to major area traffic arteries such as I-75, I-275, the Crosstown Expressway, as well as US-92.

Also another point of information is the generations of fandoms from other areas who cannot give up their other teams. People like me (I'm 28) are the older end of the diehard majority of Rays fans, as we were early teens when Tampa Bay got the team. As kids grow up, they keep their teams so over time the Rays fans who began as kids become the diehard adult fans with the 25-30 crowd being the beginning of that movement.

You're a little different than I am, then, with regards to those ages. My sports allegiances were established during that extremely narrow window during which the Tampa Bay Lightning played their first game (October 1992) and when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays franchise was formed (which was in either '95 or '96). Take your guesses at my exact age as you wish; that's personal information that I don't reveal.

The thing is, for many people who didn't grow up Rays fans, by the time the Rays finally gave them a product worth supporting, fandoms were too deeply rooted to jump over from anymore. One of my brothers was a huge Cubs fans until around 2008, when the Rays became good. I certainly didn't give him any grief for taking his Rays fandom more seriously at this point; he was well within his rights. Me? Forget the fact that the Yankees are this uber-successful thing that always wins 90 games yada yada. My fandom there was just too deeply rooted to make the switch and, unlike with my secondary support of the NY Giants and Rangers, the Rays are a direct division rival, and I could never support division rivals. Way too icky for my tastes.

--

To your maps, you are completely correct. Tropicana Field has always been in a miserable spot when it comes to attracting the majority of the Tampa Bay area population. In addition, St. Petersburg has always been more of a snowbird city than Tampa is; the snowbirds bringing their allegiances with them, more often than not. I've never exactly thought Tampa was this wonderful sports city, but even if it were just as simple as dropping Tropicana Field someplace in Tampa, I'd wager there would be a nice rise in attendance from that alone, because Tampa is where more Rays fans are located.

Tropicana Field is an awful baseball stadium and the Rays ownership group's renovations, as noble as they are, are nothing more than lipstick-on-pig improvements. But the biggest problem for the Rays has ALWAYS been where the stadium is, not the quality of the stadium. I don't really see how this could be argued.

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Here's an idea if they go to Montreal: Move them to the NL East and send Miami to the AL East.

This actually seems quite backwards.

The Rays have always been a bit geographically out of place in the AL East. Baltimore, Toronto, Boston, and New York are all within reasonable distance of each other; Tampa is over 1,000 miles away from Baltimore. If the Rays were to move to Montreal (not gonna happen, but lets play along), that would create a good division rivalry between Toronto and Montreal, and also kinda round out the AL East into a nice, reasonable five-figure shape (I guess they are all pentagons, but you don't get that traditional pentagon-ny shape with lines going from Boston to NY to Baltimore to Toronto to Montreal).

The Marlins have the southern based Braves to go along with in the NL East. The Rays are like a bubble in the AL where nobody is anywhere near them. Hell, isn't the closest geographic team to them, like, the Rangers? Actually, it's probably the Astros now, since Houston is south of Dallas. Stupid re-alignment.

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My suggestion admittedly was based off of nostalgia(Montreal in the NL) and moving Miami would keep the snowbirds happy. What you were saying about the Rays being alone, in general baseball has the fewest teams in the South, even hockey has more. No teams in New Orleans, Nashville or Carolina. Just in Florida and Atlanta.

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I don't know what Selig is doing here. It's pretty clear to everybody that Tampa Bay absolutely doesn't work as a baseball market. Yes, the stadium is horrible. Yes, it's in a terrible location. Still, if they can't draw respectable crowds with young, exciting, competitive teams, and can't sell-out playoff games, it's just not going to work. I believe the owner has made comments to that effect previously. I really don't think the Rays are actively looking for a new stadium in the Tampa Bay region because that market has already shown to be a failure. Why committ to that for another 30 years at this point? They would surely get a big bump from a new stadium, but I don't think it will be nearly as big as they'd need it to be.

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I'd like to stick with Tampa Bay because there's not a better option. However, when you have people who swear up and down that they hate going to the Trop because it's ugly and depressing but at the same time say they'd never go to games at an outdoor stadium because omg Florida in the summer are you crazy, it's like, okay, perhaps regular season baseball just isn't meant for you.

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Omaha - Too small, I think.

Montreal - While I would love to see the Expos again, I'd rather it not be as an AL team.

Orlando - I would rather see the Rays leave Florida.

San Antonio - Three teams in Texas?

Portland - AAA left because of player apathy

Las Vegas - Objectively the best choice. I never understood the whole fear of Vegas, considering that gambling could just as easily corrupt any team.

Charlotte - Habitually incapable of supporting teams.

Nashville - I think that Memphis might be a better choice. Anyhow, baseball in underrepresented in the American South.

Newark - Like the Mets don't have enough problems.

Long shots - I would like to see a team in Mexico or PR... but I don't see it happening.

Raleigh/Durham is another option.

I think the Rays can be successful in Tampa Bay, however; they shouldn't build a giant, cavernous stadium like their fellow Florida-ites the Marlins did.

Uh.... What? Marlins park is literally the smallest park in the MLB in terms of capacity. Or are you talking about OF dimensions? If so, then I think that a pitchers park would fit far better into the Ray's style of play than a band-box like Citizen's Bank.

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Marlins Park manages to be huge and cavernous without having a large seating capacity. Way to go, Loria

Jeff L-O-R-I-A

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIA

Jeff L-O-R-I-A

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIA

Jeff L-O-R-I-A

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIA

Jeff L-O-R-I-A

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIA

Expos died for somebody's sins...

BUT NOT MINE

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Lol, But they have to do that by 2015;) Portland has plans to build a big baseball stadium next to the rose garden or rose quarter ( Oh ya I'm flying around the boards tonight) the Beavers left because the Timbers moved into their stadium and they planned to build one and they are stll trying. Heck no i'm not settling for the Hillsboro Hops I want a MLB team in the city of Roses baby! Wahoo I'm on fire!!!! Ok I'll calm down don't freak out on me. :D

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Is there anyone right now with a viable stadium awaiting a tenant? I don't think so.

Market wise, I think Portland is the only realistic one. One pro team (sorry MLS fans) in town that doesn't play in the summer. Maybe San Antonio for the same reason.

People keep throwing around North Jersey. I just don't see it as viable at all. Even though New York City is massive, those fans are already Yankees or Mets fans. It'd be like opening a mom-and-pop shop next to a Wal-Mart. A nice idea, but not viable.

What about Indianapolis? I'm not too familiar with the stadium landscape. They obviously can't use Lucas Oil, but is there a demand for ball there?

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  • LMU changed the title to Tampa Bay Rays: Escape from the Trop
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