Yes, shared custody of the Tampa Bay Rays is an ever-evolving case. Plans for this unprecedented idea are set to evolve, giving news to share.
If the Montreal file is quite clear (one suspects where the stadium would be built), it is less clear in Florida.
Obviously, the goal is to get out of St. Petersburg to go more towards Tampa Bay, but it is possible that it will not be, in the end, the place of choice. It will depend on many factors.
That said, if we rely on recent developments reported by the QMI Agency, it appears Tampa is ahead of other cities in Florida in erecting the shared custody plan.
So the plan would be to build a smaller stadium in Tampa and have one in Quebec as well. Thus, the project of sister cities could take off.
And if you ask me, having a small stadium in Tampa could just mean that if/when the club is going to move to Montreal full-time, the stadium in Florida would serve in the spring.
But let’s get back to the actual shared custody plan. The City of Tampa says it is ready to follow this plan, which could help Tampa at the same time.
Why? Because the stadium wouldn’t have to be built for the worst time.
It’s new, it’s unusual.
If we can build a cheaper stadium that isn’t covered and then ship the team to Montreal for the rainy season, why not?
– John Dingfelder, Board Member
I would dare to add that the club could avoid the intense heat of the Florida summer…
This means that the plan would be to see the team play in Tampa Bay and Montreal later in the summer. Can this change? Yes.
What kind of data can make things happen? The fact that Tampa Bay does not intend to finance the project. If the Rays want to land in Tampa, it will be via private funds.
Remember that at this time, the Rays still have few fans in the stands, despite the winning club on the field.
Note that there were more fans in Buffalo on average per game this year than in Tampa Bay. In Buffalo!
Say what you want about the Expos, but when the club won, the fans were there, despite the location of the old Olympic Stadium…