Top Menu

Tampa Sports Authority declines to participate in Rays ballpark talks — for now

Tampa Bay RaysThe Tampa Stadium Authority, involved in both Raymond James Stadium and St. Pete Times Forum, is declining once again to be a part of any Tampa Bay Rays ballpark planning — for now.

The reason: any overt discussions of a new ballpark could be seen as tampering with the Rays’ current lease at Tropicana Field with St. Petersburg, and authority leaders would prefer to avoid any legal entanglements.

Instead, the decision was made at yesterday’s meeting to participate in ballpark talks only if asked. We’re not entirely sure anyone will be asking: undoubtedly the Rays will want to manage any new ballpark on their own, and the only real role the authority could play is being part of any bond sale should things progress that far. We’re probably talking about 2012 for that at the earliest: the Tampa Chamber of Commerce is expected to spend most of 2011 examining options for a new ballpark somewhere in the greater Tampa Bay area that includes a heavy dose of private funding.

RELATED STORIES: Chamber to take up Rays ballpark cause; Pinellas County extends hotel tax — but not enough for new Rays ballpark; Selig still “concerned” about Rays ballpark situation; Pinellas County mulls hotel-tax extension for new Rays ballpark; Rays: No, we’re not interested in limiting ballpark search to St. Pete ; Can Tampa Bay support MLB?; St. Pete officials now say Trop is replaceable — at a price; Potential new player emerges in Rays ballpark battle; Rays: Time to talk new ballpark again; Rays ballpark brawl: Tampa versus St. Pete; Three Rays ballpark sites recommended by committee; New Rays ballpark discussion shifts to Tampa; Group: Any new Rays ballpark needs retractable roof; Group: Renovating Trop isn’t option in keeping Rays; Rays task force may have prelim recommendations by June — but no site; Rays propose Carillon Town Center site for ballpark

Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they’re posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

, , , , , ,