NEW YORK — Rob Manfred is the baseball commissioner.We need to find new ballpark deals quickly and we left open the possibility that relocation may be considered if there are no agreements.
Manfred stated Thursday that there is a need for urgent action in Tampa after a meeting of the owners. “There has to be a solution in Tampa Bay for Rays.”
After the 2027 season, Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field lease expires at Tropicana Park in St. Petersburg. This is where the team has been playing since 1998. In January, the Rays stated that MLB had rejected their plan to divide its season between Florida & Montreal.
“Obviously, the lease ends at a difficult time, but stadiums take a while to build. Manfred added. “So we're getting to the point that wherever there is interest, 162 games of baseball are available, they need get to it. I know the Rays are eager to do something — and see what can be done.
Manfred was asked if he thought about moving to Tampa. He said that he was only focusing on Tampa right now and then added that he meant the entire region, not just the bay. “I believe a great man once said that all good things must come to an end. We're focusing right now on Tampa.
Since 1968, the Athletics played at the Coliseum. The lease ends after the 2024 season. The A's are proposing a new ballpark at Howard Terminal. They are working with the Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in order to get the required approvals.
“There is a lot of activity in Oakland. Manfred stated that the political process had moved forward significantly. “I met with Mayor Schaaf this week. She has done a great job of moving the process forward here in Oakland. California's political processes, however, are a different animal. There is still work to be done on the Oakland side. I believe the A's wisely pursued Las Vegas as an alternative. Las Vegas is a great market. It is in the same category with Tampa. Both of these markets need a solution and it is now that the time has come to find one.
Oakland's average attendance this season was 8,283 fans, which is a major league low. The Rays rank 25th at 13,740. This is also more than Miami, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.