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Even Rays fans reluctant to fund stadium

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09:01 AM ET 12.27 | Some locals in Tampa would like to see the Rays stay, but not if they're kicking in for them to do so. As divisive as the stadium debate can be, taxes are the one issue that binds Pinellas and Hillsborough county residents, fans and nonfans. A recent St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 telephone survey showed that two-thirds of Tampa Bay area residents oppose paying taxes for a new stadium -- even if that means the team would leave the area. Only a quarter of residents would open their wallets to keep the Rays in town. This antitax sentiment, coming on the heels of light rail flameout in Hillsborough, presents a stiff challenge to the Rays, who want to replace the Trop, and to business leaders and politicians looking for ways to finance a new venue.

St. Petersburg Times

Matt Garza, Getty Images Matt Garza, Getty Images
December 27, 2010  10:23 AM ET

I ever there was an argument for moving a team...and not over the stadium...why build it if the fans won't come?

Comment #6 has been removed
December 27, 2010  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

"The Little Rock Rays . . ." that's got a nice ring to it. And you get better cow bells out here.

you can come up with a better name than that...

Comment #9 has been removed
December 27, 2010  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE:

If the Rays leave Florida,all 12 of their fans will be disappointed

Dead on assessment!

December 27, 2010  12:28 PM ET

I hope the Rays stay. Good farm team for the Red Sox. :-P

December 27, 2010  01:21 PM ET

let them fail...im a firm believer that the mlb needs to set a cap and floor and get rid of the profit sharing

December 27, 2010  01:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

let them fail...im a firm believer that the mlb needs to set a cap and floor and get rid of the profit sharing

That won't happen. I suggest you come up with some other beliefs.

December 27, 2010  01:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

let them fail...im a firm believer that the mlb needs to set a cap and floor and get rid of the profit sharing

When MLB ends up owning 4-5 bankrupt teams that can no longer compete there will be more of a sense of urgency to get a cap. It will happen eventually.

December 27, 2010  02:06 PM ET

A third team in New York to soak off some of the Yankees and Mets revenue would be nice.

December 27, 2010  02:20 PM ET

It is long past time for public funding of stadiums to end, particularly in football, where the tickets belong to a small group of season ticket holders who buy seat licenses and the vast majority of the populace will never attend a game. The ludicrous value of most sports franchises is due to deals where taxpayers build a billion dollar stadium from which the team then controls all revenue. It is outrageous that fans and taxpayers are being told they must build a new stadium in places such as Minnesota, where the Metrodome is all of 28 years old. The reason of course is so the team owner can cash in by selling seat licenses and club boxes. Yankee stadium lasted what, 80 years? Fenway is nearly 100 years old. Time to cut off pro sports from the taxpayers wallet.

December 27, 2010  02:27 PM ET

and I do think that if the Rays built a stadium in TAMPA, not an hour away across the causeway, especially one with a retractable roof, they would draw 3 million fans easy. The Dome in St. Pete was always a stupid idea. Suddenly the Rays would be a one hour drive for folks from Orlando, the 35th biggest metro area in the US with a population of 2 plus million. Also I hear it has some tourists too. Gainesville would be an hour and half and Jacksonville two hours away.

December 27, 2010  02:45 PM ET

I think you're right about needing to move them to Tampa. There would be much more interest there than in St. Pete.

December 27, 2010  02:53 PM ET

Portland or Charlotte

December 27, 2010  04:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I ever there was an argument for moving a team...and not over the stadium...why build it if the fans won't come?

The fans wont have enough money to buy tickets if they keep having to pay extra taxes for these millionaires and billionaires to play a game in a shrine. They foot the bill for the new stadium then the crooks raise the ticket prices on the same people who funded the stadium. Tax money shouldnt be going to stadiums when the entire country is running huge deficits.

December 27, 2010  05:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

A third team in New York to soak off some of the Yankees and Mets revenue would be nice.

Brooklyn Cyclones

December 27, 2010  05:34 PM ET

The Rays arent going anywhere and they will get a new stadium. Money attracts money and a way will be found to get this done. As for the fans not going folks in other parts of the US need to appreciate how much the bad economy has hit this area. When the Ray's (and Bucs) management finally accepts this andmakes it affordable to go to games - including affordable parking and food ( start with no more $9 for a domestic beer) the fans will show up

December 27, 2010  05:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#28):

The Rays arent going anywhere and they will get a new stadium. Money attracts money and a way will be found to get this done. As for the fans not going folks in other parts of the US need to appreciate how much the bad economy has hit this area. When the Ray's (and Bucs) management finally accepts this andmakes it affordable to go to games - including affordable parking and food ( start with no more $9 for a domestic beer) the fans will show up

Tell that to the Fenway faithful. In all the days I worked in Boston, I was never able to get into a game at Fenway without paying scalper prices.

No reason to make excuses for a lack of interest. It is what it is.

December 27, 2010  07:26 PM ET

As a native Floridian i do not believe Florida is a Baseball State.Baseball should be played outdoors.Who wants to sit in hot humid 90 plus weather to watch a baseball game?

 
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