ORLANDO (Fla.) — Baseball officials feel a sense “of urgency” to find a new baseball park for the Orlando Magic.After scrapping the plan to split seasons between Montreal and Florida when Tropicana Field's lease expires in 2027, the team decided to abandon the idea.
Major League Baseball granted the Rays permission in June 2019 for them to investigate the two-city plan. However, it was later announced that the Rays had rejected the idea on Jan. 20, 2019.
After a meeting with owners, Rob Manfred, baseball commissioner, stated that they have been in an extended period of uncertainty about where they will play. That's a bad sign. It can be a problem for businesses. It can hinder the business' ability and the club's ability operate in the best possible way.
In December 2018, the Rays announced that they had abandoned a plan of building a ballpark in Tampa's Ybor City. This is a problem that has plagued them for years.
Both Jane Castor, the mayor of Tampa and Ken Welch, the mayor for St. Petersburg are hopeful that their respective cities will be able create viable stadium proposals.
“I hope that Tampa. Manfred stated that the Rays and Tampa Bay officials… can come together to create a solution that will keep the full-season in Tampa. “We believe Tampa is a major league marketplace and we want to find an economic solution that will make the club financially viable in that market. … I believe some of the comments made by civic leaders in the area have been also encouraging.
Stuart Sternberg, Tampa Bay's principal owner, said that he doesn't have any plans to sell the team at this time or to request permission to look into relocation.
Since their 1998 debut season, the Rays have been playing Tropicana Stadium in St. Petersburg.
Sternberg has taken control of the franchise since October 2005. It was once a struggling franchise but it has been a huge success on the field, as well as at the box-office.
The Rays reached both the World Series in 2008, and 2020. They averaged 9.500 home games last season, ranking 28th in major leagues and surpassing only Miami and Oakland.