Today’s St. Petersburg Times confirms earlier reports that the Tampa Bay Rays were putting on hold their attempt to get a new waterfront stadium built in St. Petersburg.
A key issue cited by the Rays is the lack of time between now and a November referendum on the use of Al Lang Field, a waterfront ball park that has been the Rays’ spring training home, as the site for the new stadium. It appears the decision has earned the team a good deal of goodwill as groups across the area have signed on in support of a broad search for a suitable site for a new facility.
It is interesting that the decision comes shortly after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stated in an interview that the Rays need a new stadium, ridiculing Tropicana Field, and promising an All-Star game to the city when a new stadium is available. Selig’s efforts were not necessarily appreciated as indicated by the editorial Baseball chief needs to butt out.
For lots of details about the process and prospects in St. Pete, check out this website from the St. Petersburg Times.
Thanks to Skip for informing me of this last website and to Phil Porter who connected me with WUSF, a public radio station, for a panel discussion of the Rays’ stadium issue on their program Florida Matters. Broadcast of the panel was canceled when the stadium plan was stopped.