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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    61,328
    Quote Originally Posted by thawv View Post
    So, would you be willing to take a chance on building a state of the art stadium in Tampa, and hope they start packing fans in? There's also a chance that it just might not be a big baseball town, couple with everything you mentioned. Which are clearly valid points. The Bucks and the Lightening also don't play on a daily basis every other week in the middle of the summer.

    Either way, I think there are other cities that would love to have a team and would put many more fans in the stadium.
    Tampa Bay supports two other sports at the very top of the attendance charts, one of which has no business being successful in their state, yet is. The primary difference is the location in where they play. There's zero data to make me believe Tampa Bay hates baseball, but based on their support of other teams, it's quite easy to inference they hate driving to St. Petersburg to go to the Trop. The Lightening play 41 home games, many on week nights and they do fine. If the argument is "it's nice in FL in the summer", it's nice in the summer most places and people go. I see no evidence to think that the people of Tampa Bay won't go to weeknight events if it's actually made possible or weekend games. Right now, a weeknight game especially is made a near impossibility for many.

    We do know that Montreal has already failed and we have as much data on Tampa Bay supporting weeknight games in an available location as we do, say, Vegas and Nashville (both have hockey and football and support them fine). We have no data on a few places up for debate. I think placing the team in Nashville is about the same gamble as a prime-Tampa location would be; we have data that suggests they support winners in football and hockey, and no data that a prime city-baseball location would support weeknight games on the regular. Same for Vegas. So if Tampa Bay is a gamble; they basically all are for the very same reasons.

    I think Tampa Bay would also love to have a baseball team...they don't have one right now, St. Pete has a baseball team. I think we have plenty of evidence to inference they'd (Tampa Bay) also support a baseball team if that team was made accessible. I think the arguments that Tampa won't go to games is largely based on a horrible stadium in the worst location possible for that stadium and I haven't seen anything to suggest it's just the people of Tampa Bay who don't like baseball. I'm not against moving the team, I'm against blaming Tampa Bay's fans for their lack of in-game support. Wherever the Rays are, they deserve to be accessible and in an MLB baseball stadium that isn't putrid. When you take the 30th best MLB ballpark, which is in no way a destination for people, and make every game a destination to get to through bad traffic, bad parking, tolls, etc...it should not be a shock people would rather watch on their couch.

    I think in the end, Tampa Bay is as good of a home for the Rays as Nashville, or Montreal, or Vegas would be if the team was in Tampa Bay and made accessible to people. It is 47th in total population, it has one of the biggest positive delta changes in population growth from the last 2 cenuses...it should be a prime spot to support an MLB team. I'm not married to them staying in Tampa...they just need to be accessible wherever they are. Whatever pulls them out of this "woe is me, I'm so poor" spot (they have a reason due to their impossibly small attendance numbers) and forces them to spend and be an MLB market is good for me. If that's Tampa, or Montreal or whatever...fine. But we cannot discount just how horrible the planning was for this organization from the get go- the planning was at an amateur-hour level and is likely the prime culprit for just how bad this has gotten. If they had been placed in an MLB caliber stadium with MLB caliber accessibility, in Tampa, I expect the 2021 Tampa Bay Rays would be drawing just fine 20+ years into this thing.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 10-04-2021 at 02:08 PM.

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