Rays president tries to sell St. Pete crowd on Ybor stadium

Share
Ybor stadium
Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (8 March 2018).

The Tampa Bay Rays hope to abandon St. Pete for a new baseball stadium in Ybor City and have much of it paid for with public funds; team co-president Brian Auld faced a Suncoast Tiger Bay Club crowd Thursday at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and some members of the audience described themselves as feeling betrayed or frustrated.

Tampa Bay Rays stadium
Tropicana Field in St Petersburg. By: Seán Kinane.

Auld says the Rays can’t afford to build a stadium without taxpayers chipping in and they can’t afford to field a competitive team by remaining at Tropicana Field.

Auld says if a stadium is built in the Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City it could be intimate with as few as 30,000 seats. He says should be iconic in the way The Sydney Opera House is and could be used every day of the year.

Auld says he hopes the stadium will be, what he called “porous,” meaning someone could “stroll through center field on their way to work” in Ybor City. Auld says the Rays will only move forward on the stadium if there is funding available from their partnership with Hillsborough County and other government entities.

He says the Rays need to draw ten thousand more fans per night and they think they’ll get that in Ybor because there are more people within a 30 minute drive.

Listen:

Auld expects the team to be competitive this season despite trading away players like Evan Longoria. He scoffed at the idea the team was tanking by slashing payroll.

Auld says the Rays will be playing in the Trop at least five more seasons and the team has spent $7 million this season on Tropicana Field.

Auld was asked whether the Ybor City stadium would have a roof and, if so, what kind of roof it would be. Here are some of his ideas.

Listen:

Watch Brian Auld’s talk:

Watch the Q & A:

 

You may also like

classroom
Hillsborough School Board member Jessica Vaughn on electronic devices in schools and other education issues

Hillsborough County Public Schools could have a new policy on...

The Scoop: Tues. June 25th, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

The state of abortion two years after Roe v. Wade...

education classes teacher school
Florida governor signs bills including one for security at Jewish day schools

A new Florida law creates a state program to help...

LGBTQ via WMNF iStock subscription
U.S. Supreme Court will rule on restrictions of medical treatment for transgender individuals; a Florida law could be impacted

The Supreme Court will decide if a Tennessee law restricting...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

WaveMakers
Player position: