The Tampa Bay Rays made the front cover of the Times on Friday, in an article featuring the results of a Tampa Bay Times/10 News WTSP survey of Tampa Bay area citizens on how much they value the team.
The article can be read in its entirety here. The online version contains questions that 650 individuals across Tampa Bay were asked, as well as full results. It should be noted, there was a 4% margin of error within the phone survey.
Highlights and Takeaways
― More Pinellas County residents said they cared about keeping the team than Hillsborough County residents. 48% of Pinellas residents care a lot about keeping the Rays in the region, while only 32% of Hillsborough residents felt the same. 31% said they “didn’t care at all.”
― 36% of Pinellas residents most prefer a new stadium to be built in downtown St. Petersburg, compared to 32% for northern St. Petersburg (Carrillon or the Derby Lane) and just 9% for the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds.
― 39% of Hillsborough residents most prefer a new stadium to be built at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, compared to 17% in downtown Tampa and 16% in downtown St. Petersburg.
― According to the Charlie Frago (Tampa Bay Times) penned article, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said that he thinks the best future home for the team is on its current site, Tropicana Field. He cites easy interstate access and a booming downtown whose renaissance is spreading west along Central Avenue:
When you look at the opportunities to be there, it makes perfect sense.
― Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn broke with the dominant opinion espoused by the Hillsborough residents, who preferred a Hillsborough County Fairgrounds location, saying a stadium in that location likely wouldn’t spur other development in the area:
Just look at Raymond James Stadium, Buckhorn said. That’s a perfect example. You have Chili’s and Mons Venus and that’s about it.
― Piggy-backing on Buckhorn’s quote (above), there is no evidence of a positive economic impact when we speak in terms of building a stadium on a given parcel of land. Rather, it would make more sense to build a facility in an area where continual growth is inherent ― one in which, say, 85 acres of property is available to be redeveloped. You know, one that’s surrounded by restaurants, breweries, bars, and family friendly entertainment. If only there was a place like that in the region…sigh.