Rays to announce...something...at Tampa Baseball Museum in Ybor Friday

Gee, we wonder what.

click to enlarge Rays to announce...something...at Tampa Baseball Museum in Ybor Friday
Screen Grab, Google Maps

It's been a minute since there's been substantive motion on the Tampa Bay Rays stadium what-have-you.

There hasn't even been much innuendo about it from a local mover and shaker (well, except for maybe this).

That dry streak will apparently end Friday, though, when the Tampa Bay Rays are expected to announce that they've selected a new stadium site in Tampa.

The announcement is slated to take place at the Tampa Baseball Museum in Ybor City. That locale happens to be near a site Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan said last October "has unlimited potential not only for a state of the art ballpark, but it will also catalyze significant economic development"

Rays president Brian Auld later told media the team would "evaluate."

The 14-acre site sits on the north side of Adamo Drive between Channelside Drive and East 4th Avenue.

On Thursday Hagan told the Tampa Bay Times that Friday's announcement will be "a major step" toward bringing the team to Tampa.

Of course, if the Rays do announce they'd like to pursue a stadium at the site, there are quite a few more hurdles before there's a groundbreaking.

Namely, the question of how such a facility will be paid for.

The team ostensibly has an agreement with the City of St. Petersburg to play at Tropicana until 2027 — even so, the team's been expressing a desire to leave the site for at least a decade.

In 2015, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration agreed to allow the team to leave the Trop, but only if they chose a stadium site within Hillsborough or Pinellas.

Kriseman addressed City Council Thursday as the news broke, and expressed confidence that the team will ultimately decide to build a stadium on the site where it already plays — especially as stumbling blocks, namely finding the money to pay for a new stadium in a climate where taxpayers no longer stomach paying for stadiums, crop up.

“The easy part is picking a site," Kriseman said. "There are still a lot of questions that they don't have answers to.”



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