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Volume 25 No. 214
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Financial Feasibility Of New Rays Ballpark Main Point Of Concern

The eventual decision on a new Rays ballpark "will be based on a simple calculation" of how much it will "cost the Rays to build a stadium compared to how much more money a new stadium might make for them," according to John Romano of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. There is "nothing else" to the decision besides the financial aspect, which is "one of the reasons the Rays will not be pinned down on how much they are willing to contribute to a stadium’s construction." The monetary figure is "presumably different in St. Petersburg than it would be in Tampa," and it is "different in Tampa than it would be" in any other city hoping to lure an MLB team. The Rays and MLB "will subtly flirt with those other cities to keep them salivating while also letting Tampa Bay know there are other options out there." That was "part of the strategy behind the Las Vegas press conference carried live on MLB Network" last week in which the team announced the Ybor City ballpark deal had fallen through (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/15). In Tampa, Marc Topkin wrote for an ownership group that "typically prefers the low-key approach, it was a bit unusual, and somewhat opportunistic, for the Rays to take their stadium concerns to the winter meetings press conference stage and national TV." Meanwhile, the team is "planning to install new LED lights" at Tropicana Field and "replace the Shaw Sports turf for a third straight year" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/15).