Months after the city’s proposal was unveiled, some Oldsmar officials believe it is unlikely that they will build a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark.
Last fall, Oldsmar mayor Doug Bevis and the city unveiled a concept for that would bring the Rays to the city. Located across near Tampa Bay Downs, the project would have included a new home for the Rays along with mixed use development (shown above) on a 120-acre site. In its pitch, Oldsmar cited its location near the Pinellas/Hillsborough county border and the amount of space available for development surrounding the ballpark as advantages.
The Rays have continued to search both counties for a new ballpark site, and have not made a commitment at this point. In the meantime, some Oldsmar officials–including city council member Eric Seidel–believe it is time for the city to move on from the idea. Bevis, however, feels that the Rays’ ongoing search could still leave Oldsmar with enough time to make its pitch. More from Oldsmar Connect:
“I think it’s been great for the city, I applaud our efforts, but I also think it might be becoming a distraction…and I am in favor of us having a discussion about suspending our efforts to try to bring the Rays here to the City of Oldsmar.”
Council member Jerry Beverland concurred with Seidel, saying, “they ain’t gonna come here.”
But Bevis refused to throw in the towel, especially in light of the fact that team officials recently announced the stadium decision would be delayed until the end of the year.
“I agree with a lot of what you said…but I don’t think it’s completely dead,” the mayor responded.
“I don’t know that expending any more effort, it’s not like we’re trying to get noticed. We’re well known. We’ve raised the profile of (Oldsmar). They know we’re here.”
As noted, the Rays have not committed to a site, and owner Stuart Sternberg said in March that the team is still in the process of vetting its options.
Rendering courtesy FSA Inc. Architecture/Construction
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