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Tampa Bay chambers support split-season plan for the Rays

Veronica Brezina

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The Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, 2017 Photo: City of St. Petersburg

The Tampa Bay Rays’ sister-city plan is garnering support from local business organizations in Tampa Bay. 

The Tampa Bay Chamber, South Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber made a joint announcement in supporting the plan to split the Rays’ season between Tampa Bay and Montreal. 

“Tampa Bay’s rich history has been and remains to be influenced by the game of baseball,” the Tampa Bay Chamber’s release read, signed by the other organizations. “The Chambers recognize this connection and will continue to support efforts to maintain this rich heritage.” 

The vow of support comes after Rays President Brian Auld recently spoke at the Tiger Bay Club and said the team has no choice but to split a season with Montreal and how such a novel arrangement would benefit both the team and the Tampa Bay community.

“The Tampa Bay Rays do not have a place to play on opening day of 2028, and that will be here sooner than we think,” said Auld. “We have to talk about it, we have to deal with it and we have to find a solution.”

Auld is in favor of having a future outdoor ballpark built in Ybor for the Rays. 

Several months ago, the St. Pete city council members agreed to financially support the hiring contract of a consulting firm to negotiate a stadium deal with the Tampa Bay Rays – particularly dealing with a potential split-season scenario. 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John Donovan

    November 18, 2021at4:35 pm

    We (St Petersburg, Tampa, Rays, some organization) apparently aren’t interested in spending $1 billion for a stadium where a team would play full time or we would have already begun to do so. But it makes more sense to spend $1 billion for a team that would play just 1/2 the time?

  2. Avatar

    Tim

    November 18, 2021at8:30 pm

    See you in the funny papers mlb

  3. Avatar

    Al Karnavicius

    November 19, 2021at9:53 am

    One has to wonder if those chambers would have been so quick to support the 2-city plan if a new stadium for the Rays had been announced for St. Petersburg.

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