Though other forms of corporate support are needed, landing a naming-rights deal will be key for a proposed Tampa Bay Rays Ybor City ballpark.
As part of their ongoing ballpark search the Rays are considering Tampa’s Ybor City, where a facility is being pitched for a 14-acre site north of Ybor Channel. The proposed venue would give the team a replacement for Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, but there are still several unresolved issues. No firm cost estimate has been released and it remains to be seen whether a funding agreement can be struck by the Rays and the other parties involved in discussions, including Hillsborough County.
Another major factor in the discussions is business support. From season tickets to ballpark naming rights, the Rays are seeking support from the region’s business community in order to improve their financial outlook and make a new Tampa ballpark a viable economic option. It remains to be seen how lucrative a naming-rights contract would be, and it is just one component of the larger effort to build business support, but it is one aspect that is being watched as ballpark discussions continue. More from TBO.com:
The private outreach effort, spearheaded by the group Tampa Bay 2020, is in its infancy but initial responses have been encouraging, said Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan.
Still, he thought a deal to name the Ybor City ballpark would land “somewhere between” the $2 million per year that the A’s are looking for and the $11 million the Texas Rangers negotiated.
The details haven’t been worked out yet, Hagan said, and they’ll need to be coordinated with other business contributions.
“It’s only one part of the entire corporate sponsorship initiative,” he said.
Ybor City was announced in February as the team’s preferred site for a new ballpark.
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