So I know if you live in the Tampa Bay area, you are probably tired of talking or even hearing about a new stadium for the Rays. Just tell me when the deal is done, right? I’m with you for the most part. With the departure of Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon, the topic of a new stadium came up again. A local sports radio host said that he knew of talks to finally move the team to Tampa Bay. No details could be released yet, as it was still being discussed and nothing has been finalized.
Downtown Tampa progress
This discussion got me thinking about the move in more detail, though. I’ve lived in the Tampa Bay area over 25 years. It seems like we are always talking about Downtown Tampa developing into something more than just a business center. We have made quite a bit of progress through the year. Several condo projects have been completed. Curtis Hixon park has become a popular location for fun community events. The Lightning are gaining momentum. Jeff Vinik’s purchase and redevelopment of the Channelside district, and the Riverwalk project are just a few that come to mind. I am excited about the future of the downtown area.
So would the Rays moving to downtown be an exclamation point on this progress towards a vibrant downtown? Personally, I would love to see some of the vacant parking lots around the Amalie Arena turned into a nice baseball stadium. I can imagine the excitement that would bring to the area on a game night. Considering how much closer that area is for residents of Eastern Hillsborough County, I think it would definitely help attendance.
Obstacles, but still optimistic, Tampa Bay
In the end, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. Financing, traffic, and replacing the parking that would be used for the stadium are just a few of these obstacles. I am excited with the thoughts about the future of Downtown Tampa, and I’d love to see the Rays as a part of that. Until then, I’ll go back to my original statement “Just tell me when the deal is done.”
What do you think of the improvements in Downtown Tampa, as well as the thought of the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa?
Greg & Eneida
KRL Group FL