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Rays task force may have prelim recommendations by June — but no site

The task force charged with planning a potential future home of the Tampa Bay Rays will have recommendations this summer on design and funding, but probably won’t have a site recommendation until early 2010.

That’s according to Jeff Lyash, chairman of the A Baseball Community (ABC) group working on a ballpark plan. While it seems like a long time to decide where to put a new ballpark in St. Pete or potentially Tampa, there are a lot of political minefields the group needs to navigate — and by taking the time to explore and discuss all options, the task force will hardly be accused of being biased one way or another.

One dark-horse option: yet another renovation of Tropicana Field. ABC has contracted Populous to determine options for changes to the facility. Short of tearing the roof off the place — which may not be as far-fetched as you think — we can’t think of a way a renovation would address the many shortcomings in the place. And Populous should know: the firm oversaw the last renovation of Tropicana Field.

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