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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NY Times: City Clings to Rays as Others Clamor for a Move

[St. Petersburg Mayor Bill] Foster is so intent on keeping the team in St. Petersburg that he has essentially threatened to sue anyone, including lawmakers in neighboring cities, who speaks to the team about moving elsewhere, citing a clause in the city’s agreement that prohibits tortious interference, or inducements to break a contract. ...

[Hillsborough County commissioner Ken] Hagan and others argue that with fewer than a quarter-million residents, St. Petersburg is too small to be a major league city and does not have the concentration of companies needed to fill premium seats and suites. The population of Hillsborough County, home to Tampa and many of its suburbs, grew 23 percent in the last decade, while Pinellas County, where St. Petersburg is, shrank by half of 1 percent, according to census figures.

Moving the team to Tampa would put the Rays in a downtown hub that could lead to a blossoming of restaurants and shops, an upgrade compared with Tropicana Field, which is surrounded by parking lots, highways and undistinguished neighborhoods. Having the team on the east side of Tampa Bay might also draw fans from as far as Orlando.

bobm Posted: June 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, stadiums

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   1. Brian C Posted: June 14, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4156392)
[St. Petersburg Mayor Bill] Foster is so intent on keeping the team in St. Petersburg that he has essentially threatened to sue anyone, including lawmakers in neighboring cities, who speaks to the team about moving elsewhere, citing a clause in the city’s agreement that prohibits tortious interference, or inducements to break a contract.

I see. So other lawmakers are a party to this contract the city has with the team? IANAL but this seems to be a desperate strategy with high probabality of being ineffective if not backfiring outright.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4156450)
Moving the team to Tampa would put the Rays in a downtown hub that could lead to a blossoming of restaurants and shops, an upgrade compared with Tropicana Field, which is surrounded by parking lots, highways and undistinguished neighborhoods.

I agree with this. I'd suggest moving the team to one of those distinguished gated communities, maybe right next to the country club.
   3. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4156453)
I know exactly the one you're talking about. It wears a monocle and top hat, and it seems to watch a bunch of PBS.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4156458)
in my experience guys who bandy about threats of tortious interference are accustomed to bullying smaller entities who are intimidated by just the phrase

once they encounter someone with a modicum of experience and/or means they get rolled
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 14, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4156465)
I agree with this. I'd suggest moving the team to one of those distinguished gated communities, maybe right next to the country club.

Maybe Jeter could buy the team and move it to his backyard.
   6. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4156471)
I don't know what the answer is, but I know this: SOMETHING needs to be done, because it's a freaking travesty that a team like this can't draw better, and the litany of ready-made excuses is tiresome.
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4156484)
I agree with this. I'd suggest moving the team to one of those distinguished gated communities, maybe right next to the country club.

Maybe Jeter could buy the team and move it to his backyard.


And demote them to AAA to remove any conflict of interest.
   8. BDC Posted: June 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4156553)
St. Petersburg is too small to be a major league city


One of the nicer touches in Rick Wilber's enjoyable novel Rum Point is imagining a major-league baseball stadium at the point of Pass-A-Grille Beach, way out south of St Petersburg in about the remotest possible dead-end in the whole metro area.

I don't think the location is the problem, frankly. Tampa Bay / St Petersburg is an awkward area to drive around, and no location is going to be ideal. The problem is greed for the kinds of luxury boxes and lucrative amenities that other stadiums have been adding. Not that greed is entirely a bad thing; this is professional sports, after all, not a monastery under a vow of poverty. But it's more a matter of "we could be making a killing, and we have to settle for these dang modest profits instead."
   9. Brian C Posted: June 14, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4156555)
in my experience guys who bandy about threats of tortious interference are accustomed to bullying smaller entities who are intimidated by just the phrase

once they encounter someone with a modicum of experience and/or means they get rolled

I have no experience in this area (although I have watched Michael Mann's The Insider many times!), but your views here sure seem plausible.

I actually sympathize with the guy to some extent, because there's little doubt that losing the team would be a problem for St. Pete, and his options seem limited. That said, he's in a bad spot, with the Rays having the worst stadium in the league, and the team having chronic attendance problems even though they've been good for years. One way or the other, he'll lose this fight in the long run. It's inevitable.

Another thing about the article - Tampa can dream on if they think that they can draw substantially from Orlando just by putting a stadium on the east side of town.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4156571)
St. Petersburg is too small to be a major league city


Its 70,000 fewer people than St. Louis, one of the consistently best-drawing baseball cities in America.
   11. BDC Posted: June 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4156595)
Its 70,000 fewer people than St. Louis, one of the consistently best-drawing baseball cities in America

I was going to mention Arlington, Texas, but Arlington is considerably larger than either St Petersburg or St Louis. Anyway, as we always say in these threads, calculating by municipality is wildly misleading. It's not as if attendance at Rays' games is limited to people who live inside St Petersburg city limits. (Even if attendance at Rays games sometimes consists of people who could comfortably fit in my backyard :)
   12. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4156599)
Yeah, according to the last census report, the Tampa/St. Pete metro area is #18 in the country in population. It's almost exactly identical in size to metro St. Louis, and bigger than metro Baltimore, Denver, and Pittsburgh.

The suggestion that Tampa/St. Pete isn't big enough to support a major league team is absurd; the people who live there have simply decided that they don't want to go to the games. Unless the team is giving away free tickets, that is.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4156618)
Shouldn't the Indians have to move first? They had a pretty good season last year, are competitive again this year, and are still drawing considerably worse than the Rays.
   14. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4156653)
Come on dude, get serious. The Indians aren't a legitimate contender for anything, and anyone who knows anything about baseball knows it, whereas the Rays have legitimately been one of the best teams in baseball for 4+ seasons now.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4156674)
Not that greed is entirely a bad thing; this is professional sports, after all, not a monastery under a vow of poverty. But it's more a matter of "we could be making a killing, and we have to settle for these dang modest profits instead."


How much free money do these poormouth plutocrats get each and every year? Vow of poverty indeed.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4156678)
Come on dude, get serious. The Indians aren't a legitimate contender for anything, and anyone who knows anything about baseball knows it, whereas the Rays have legitimately been one of the best teams in baseball for 4+ seasons now.


The Indians are most certainly a legitimate contender in the AL Central, as they were last year (so it's not just coming out of the blue). They are averaging 2,000 fewer fans per game than Tampa.

Obviously, Central Florida has not turned out in droves to support an excellent team. But the club (one of baseball's two youngest franchises in an area heavy with transplants) is averaging nearly 20,000 per game to a crappy stadium in a less-than-ideal location in an area hit particularly hard during the recession. I just don't see how that's so ####### calamitous, unless you (like MLB) won't be satisified until no team has the lowest average attendance in baseball.

Tampa may very well be the worst market in MLB. Someone's gotta be. I do know we've come an awfully long way when getting 19,000-plus per night is a catastrophe that absolutely, positively has to be addressed. That sounds a lot like Primates doing the job of Bud and his cronies for them.

And please, don't call me dude.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4156683)
Moving the team to Tampa would put the Rays in a downtown hub that could lead to a blossoming of restaurants and shops, an upgrade compared with Tropicana Field, which is surrounded by parking lots, highways and undistinguished neighborhoods.


If the Rays can lead to such a 'blossoming,' one wonders why it didn't happen in St. Pete.
   18. Lassus Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4156686)
I only stopped in to say that I really like St. Petersburg compared to most of the rest of Florida. (And I actually like Florida, mostly because it is damned wacky.)

And, as I've mentioned before, St. Pete has the Salvador Dali museum, and here is an awesome Dali baseball print I just purchased from them.
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4156688)
The problem, ultimately, is that the Tampa Bay area is the worst current baseball market, for basic reasons of population.

Tampa-St. Pete is 156th in the U.S. in median household income, which is lowest in MLB, and much lower than everyone else but Pittsburgh. It does better in per capita income -- 65th in the US, ahead of Houston, LA, Pittsburgh, and Miami. It is smaller than every metro area with a baseball team but Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. There are (I think) fewer major company headquarters in the metro area than in any other metro area. It's the least centralized metro area with an MLB team.

This doesn't touch the other problems -- a crappy stadium in a bad location, the vast number of transplants in the area, the vast number of elderly in the area, the youth of the franchise, and so on.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4156689)
St Louis is certainly an outlier, in that a relatively small city has such deep and wide support for their baseball team that they can remain an economic power.

It is worth noting, though, that one of the big problems for the Rays is that Tampa is poor. St Louis' MSA is about average in median income in the US (~$45,000), while Tampa is well below average (~$37,000). So alongside the peculiar historical advantages of St Louis, there's just this basic structural one.

Tampa is definitely also drawing way below what you'd expect for a smallish market, even a poor one.

EDIT: Coke to FMcG.
   21. Brian C Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4156693)
Tampa may very well be the worst market in MLB. Someone's gotta be. I do know we've come an awfully long way when getting 19,000-plus per night is a catastrophe that absolutely, positively has to be addressed. That sounds a lot like Primates doing the job of Bud and his cronies for them.

This is a weird line of argumentation. It seems like pretty much a given that a new stadium in a better location would be good for them. Just because Tampa Bay's situation is fairly decent on some irrelevant abstract relative historical basis doesn't mean that there isn't a better situation out there for them; even teams that draw well are always looking to do better.

   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4156697)
I do know we've come an awfully long way when getting 19,000-plus per night is a catastrophe that absolutely, positively has to be addressed.


Its 19k when they're one of the best teams in baseball. What is going to happen when they suck again?

St Louis is certainly an outlier, in that a relatively small city has such deep and wide support for their baseball team that they can remain an economic power.


St. Louis is also an outlier in that it is completely land locked and its a very tiny city geopgraphically and there are weird home-rule laws that caused a ton of tiny cities to crop up immediately around it rather than become part of St. Louis. The St. Louis metro area is actually quite large, the 19th largest metro in the area (just after Tampa-St Pete)
   23. depletion Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4156699)
For $500M maybe they'd be better off improving St. Petersburg than making a new stadium. "Move into our new hi-tech offices, right near the Rays' games and the beaches!"
Maybe I'm just a slob, but I've always preferred a good ballgame in a "lousy" ballpark to a lousy game in a "state-of-the-art" stadium.

coke to nastyNate
   24. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4156708)
IANAL but this seems to be a desperate strategy with high probabality of being ineffective if not backfiring outright.

Can't you see this is the last act of a desperate man?
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4156710)
The St. Louis metro area is actually quite large, the 19th largest metro in the area (just after Tampa-St Pete)
Just to be clear, I was going by MSA (having lived in Boston, I know how useless city-border restricted population numbers can be). The 19th largest metro area in the US is a small market in baseball.

St Louis' strength comes about because of the unusual depth of support for the club in the city, and the incredible breadth of support for the club throughout neighboring states.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: June 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4156712)
This is a weird line of argumentation. It seems like pretty much a given that a new stadium in a better location would be good for them. Just because Tampa Bay's situation is fairly decent on some irrelevant abstract relative historical basis doesn't mean that there isn't a better situation out there for them; even teams that draw well are always looking to do better.


I'm sure it would be good for them. I'm not so sure it would be good for the folks of Tampa/St. Pete, who I'm also sure are going to be the ones asked to pay the freight for a better situation. Likewise, I'm sure some other situation out there for them will also require some other local group of taxpayers ponying up the dough to build some improved stadium. I thought most of BTF frowned on that.

Its 19k when they're one of the best teams in baseball. What is going to happen when they suck again?


It will likely go down. Probably even below where the Indians are drawing now. Then again, hopefully the club's continued success will convert more residents of Central Florida into Rays fans and away from the allegiances they still carry, mitigating some of the inevitable fallback.
   27. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4156715)
If the Rays can lead to such a 'blossoming,' one wonders why it didn't happen in St. Pete.


The short version is that everyone and his cousin already goes to Tampa for nightlife purposes. There is nothing like that around Tropicana Field -- it was built where it is because it's near the intersection of two interstates, and because there was empty space there for parking. The neighborhoods around it are non-fancy residential. There's no transit to anywhere near it, other than a few generic city bus lines, and almost no parking beyond the stadium lots. You'd have to create an entertainment zone completely from scratch.

This isn't to say that I think the people of Tampa should spend half a billion dollars to improve the Rays' financial situation, of course.
   28. Brian C Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4156719)
I'm sure it would be good for them. I'm not so sure it would be good for the folks of Tampa/St. Pete...

Well, I'm not so sure it would be good for the folks, either. But that's a much different argument than, "They're drawing 19K, what's the problem? Someone has to be the worst!"
   29. Chip Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4156725)
This Tampa Tribune article does a good job laying out many of the market size issues for a Tampa area team.


   30. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4156729)
Yeah, according to the last census report, the Tampa/St. Pete metro area is #18 in the country in population. It's almost exactly identical in size to metro St. Louis, and bigger than metro Baltimore, Denver, and Pittsburgh.


Well, not all MSAs are created equal. Tampa-St Pete MSA includes a bunch of communities well to the north and east of Tampa, and 60-80 miles from the Rays ballpark. I'm sure all those other cities have far more population within 10-15 miles of the park than the Rays do.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4156735)
Well, I'm not so sure it would be good for the folks, either. But that's a much different argument than, "They're drawing 19K, what's the problem? Someone has to be the worst!"


I think all he was doing was refuting the claim made above that the Rays current situation is a travesty.
   32. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4156742)
I've heard all of these excuses many times before: Tampa is too poor, too far spread out, etc. etc.

Frankly, I don't really buy into these as legitimate, but let's stipulate that all is this is totally true. If so, then these sound to me like fundamental structural problems that just can't be solved. If that's the case, then putting a baseball team there in the first place was probably a mistake to begin with, and it's just inevitable that sooner or later they will either be relocated or contracted.
   33. Chip Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4156743)
Well, not all MSAs are created equal. Tampa-St Pete MSA includes a bunch of communities well to the north and east of Tampa, and 60-80 miles from the Rays ballpark. I'm sure all those other cities have far more population within 10-15 miles of the park than the Rays do.


As the Tribune article points out, the "within a 30-minute drive" population is very low, and remains very low even for a new ballpark in downtown Tampa.

They could try a Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex solution - put the ballpark in between Orlando & Tampa - but the latter pair of cities is more than twice as far apart as the former.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4156747)
I'm sure all those other cities have far more population within 10-15 miles of the park than the Rays do.
Are Tampa or St Pete atypically spread out for late-developing American cities? Looking at whole-city population density, it doesn't look there's a big difference in density between Tampa/St. Pete and cities like Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and San Diego.

Looking at population density, it's Kansas City that's a huge outlier. Is there even a city there? (Or are the city limits reaching out into the farmland?)
   35. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4156748)
If the Rays can lead to such a 'blossoming,' one wonders why it didn't happen in St. Pete.
Because it is built next to a big hospital and a college campus, but not the kind of campus that is going to lead to a ton of kids going to the game. It is the graduate campus for USF Oceanography which takes up a decent amount of space. There is also a couple of buildings that are for the USGS nearby, not the kind of places that will be blossoming because of the Rays located nearby. It is really not in walking distance to the rejuvenated downtown area of St Pete.

I do think moving to Tampa would get more Orlando people, maybe not much but more, they have to go through Tampa to get to the game in St. Pete to begin with. It is an extra 40 minutes drive to go from the edge of Tampa to the stadium in St. Pete with moderate traffic.

The amount of transplants here with allegiance to another club is huge. There are a huge amount of North East and Chicago transplants here who have kept their allegiance. I would guess that at least a third of the people living in the area were not born here.
   36. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4156750)
Frankly, I don't really buy into these as legitimate, but let's stipulate that all is this is totally true. If so, then these sound to me like fundamental structural problems that just can't be solved. If that's the case, then putting a baseball team there in the first place was probably a mistake to begin with, and it's just inevitable that sooner or later they will either be relocated or contracted.


First of all, contraction isn't going to happen. Therefore, aside from moving them to New York, which also isn't going to happen, what would be a better place? What untapped areas are a good bet to provide better support for the team? It's one thing to point out that they are getting poor support, but it's quite another to provide a realistic alternative.
   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4156752)
It is worth noting, though, that one of the big problems for the Rays is that Tampa is poor. St Louis' MSA is about average in median income in the US (~$45,000), while Tampa is well below average (~$37,000).


I suspect that's heavily influenced by the fact that there are so many older people in the Tampa area. Retirees generally have small incomes, but may well have plenty of assets, and with no children to support, plenty of discretionary money to spend.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4156758)
If the Rays can lead to such a 'blossoming,' one wonders why it didn't happen in St. Pete.
You'd have to create an entertainment zone completely from scratch.


Selig and the tax-dollars-for-stadiums brigade usually try to claim that ballparks are things that can create the entertainment zones from scratch.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4156763)

Well, I'm not so sure it would be good for the folks, either. But that's a much different argument than, "They're drawing 19K, what's the problem? Someone has to be the worst!".


I think all he was doing was refuting the claim made above that the Rays current situation is a travesty.

Pretty much. It isn't that Tampa couldn't do better, or that the Rays shouldn't try. Just that the current situation doesn't strike me as catastrophic as it's often painted, and that, as misirlou suggests, I don't see a realistic alternative anyway (and considering the general feeling around here toward taxpayer-funded stadia, the contention that "something must be done" seems to be hypocritical).

   40. Nasty Nate Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4156764)
"If the Rays can lead to such a 'blossoming,' one wonders why it didn't happen in St. Pete."

You'd have to create an entertainment zone completely from scratch.


Selig and the tax-dollars-for-stadiums brigade usually try to claim that ballparks are things that can create the entertainment zones from scratch.
   41. DKDC Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4156765)
Rays to North Jersey. Indians to Southern Connecticut.

Solve three problems at once.
   42. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4156767)
First of all, contraction isn't going to happen. Therefore, aside from moving them to New York, which also isn't going to happen, what would be a better place? What untapped areas are a good bet to provide better support for the team? It's one thing to point out that they are getting poor support, but it's quite another to provide a realistic alternative.

I don't have a realistic alternative. Like I said earlier on, I don't know what the solution to the problem is.

As far as saying things like "contraction isn't going to happen", I'd be careful about making blanket statements like this. It reminds me of back when some people around here were saying that the Expos would never leave Montreal. Nothing in life is guaranteed to go on forever; the only constant is change.
   43. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4156768)
I suspect that's heavily influenced by the fact that there are so many older people in the Tampa area. Retirees generally have small incomes, but may well have plenty of assets, and with no children to support, plenty of discretionary money to spend.
What I have found interesting about the retirees of the Tampa/St Pete area since moving here is the fact that they really don't leave their communities. There are whole retirement towns here that have streets made for golf carts and they have their own stores, parks, entertainment, etc. They never really leave, if you want to get the dirtiest look a human can ever give, bring a small child into one of their parks.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4156769)

Looking at population density, it's Kansas City that's a huge outlier. Is there even a city there? (Or are the city limits reaching out into the farmland?)


KC annexed a crapload of farmland to the north and south to stem the tide of white flight (the northland actually is becoming a more affluent suburban-style tax revenue center for the city). The actual core downtown is still fairly dense for a non-east coast city, but out around by the airport its all farmland.

But yea, KC as a metro area is pretty sprawled out. Its not Houston-bad, but its up there.
   45. BDC Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4156779)
it was built where it is because it's near the intersection of two interstates, and because there was empty space there for parking. The neighborhoods around it are non-fancy residential. There's no transit to anywhere near it, other than a few generic city bus lines, and almost no parking beyond the stadium lots

That about describes the stadium district in Arlington, except that there are no neighborhoods or bus lines here at all. People in Texas just don't mind driving, a factor that's hard to analyze or account for. DFW is extremely low-density, distances are vast, Arlington has the big stadiums because it's equally inconvenient from everywhere, and our championship team has been drawing 45,000 a game (let alone our extremely mediocre NFL team, which draws 100,000+). People like driving here, and they like sports too. (And to be fair, DFW is also twice the population of TB, though over a vast area.)
   46. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4156784)
(responding to #34 and #44)

The flood plain of the Missouri is also mostly farmland, for good hydrological reasons.

The density issue with Tampa is that there's the a big bay in the middle of the metro area separating Tampa from St Pete and Clearwater. I assume that formal measures of density only count land area, and metro Tampa is unique among MLB markets in having two centers of population separated by a big body of water.
   47. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4156790)
Are Tampa or St Pete atypically spread out for late-developing American cities? Looking at whole-city population density, it doesn't look there's a big difference in density between Tampa/St. Pete and cities like Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and San Diego.


Those other MSAs may be as or more spread out, in terms of what is included in the MSA, but they all have a significantly larger core. Phoenix proper has 1.5 million residents, more than half the entire Tampa MSA. Houston has 1.7 million. Denver 700,000. San Diego 1.3 million. Atlanta's pretty spread out, but the MSA is twice as large, so the density is probably quite a bit higher.

   48. Brian C Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4156791)
They could try a Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex solution - put the ballpark in between Orlando & Tampa - but the latter pair of cities is more than twice as far apart as the former.

Plus the area between Dallas and Fort Worth is pretty well populated - Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Irving are all cities with populations of 175K+ - which isn't at all true of the area between Tampa and Orlando.
   49. BDC Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4156800)
a big bay in the middle of the metro area

So, move the bay. Where's our American get-it-done spirit gotten to?
   50. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4156807)
if you want to get the dirtiest look a human can ever give, bring a small child into one of their parks.


Or onto their lawns.
   51. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4156815)
Plus the area between Dallas and Fort Worth is pretty well populated - Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Irving are all cities with populations of 175K+ - which isn't at all true of the area between Tampa and Orlando


Hell, Arlington is bigger than Tampa.
   52. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 14, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4156820)
They could try a Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex solution - put the ballpark in between Orlando & Tampa - but the latter pair of cities is more than twice as far apart as the former.


The interesting thing is that they've sort of done the put-it-in-the-middle solution already. Tropicana Field is roughly equidistant from Tampa, Clearwater, and Bradenton. If you're thinking of drawing from the whole metro area (and, technically, beyond -- Bradenton is in a different MSA) and aren't worried about local amenities then the ballpark is already in more or less the right spot. It must have seemed like a very elegant solution when they started building the park back in 1986.

So, move the bay. Where's our American get-it-done spirit gotten to?


But the pelicans next to the I-275 bridge are my favorite thing about the area! Someone has to think of the pelicans.
   53. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4156857)
Nothing in life is guaranteed to go on forever; the only constant is change.


????

I thought that the one constant through all these years has been baseball.
   54. depletion Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4157037)
Nothing in life is guaranteed to go on forever; the only constant is change

I detect an inconsistancy here. This is left as an exercise for the student.

I looked on Google street view at the area around the Stadium. Yup. Not a whole lot there. The beaches are 4-5 miles away apparently. This is a case of "if you build it, someone might mosey on by, but probably not."
   55. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4157052)
The Indians are most certainly a legitimate contender in the AL Central, as they were last year (so it's not just coming out of the blue).

Oh wow, I can't believe that I actually missed this the first time around. If you really believe that the Indians were contenders last year, then you obviously have a much looser definition of contender than I do, because I don't consider 15 games out of first place to be contention.

As for this year, I wouldn't be fooled by the fact that they're only two games back. After today's game, Cleveland has a lousy -31 run differential, which as I write this is 70 runs worse than the White Sox differential. The Indians are far more likely to go downhill than they are to stay in the race, and I suspect that most Indians fans understand this pretty well. And even if by some miracle they actually won the division, they would just get destroyed in the playoffs.
   56. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4157064)
I can think of another major-league market that has a BAY in the middle of the urban AREA. Hey, that area has a team that is desperate to leave for an unspecified new home, too.
   57. just plain joe Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4157065)
So, move the bay. Where's our American get-it-done spirit gotten to?


Hell yes, fill that sumbitch in. Give Haliburton (or somebody) a cost plus contract and make it happen. Who needs a bunch of pelicans and fish and people in boats.

Seriously though; it has taken teams like St. Louis generations to get to the point where people will drive hours to attend their games. I can remember my grandparents talking about driving 4 or 5 hours on narrow two lane roads (back in the thirties and forties) just to attend a Cardinals' game in St. Louis. Now that trip only takes half that time, thanks to the Interstate, and people think little of driving to St. Louis for a game and turning around and driving back home the same day. Let's wait until the Rays have had time to develop several generations of fans and then see how their attendance compares to that of the more established teams.
   58. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4157090)

I can think of another major-league market that has a BAY in the middle of the urban AREA. Hey, that area has a team that is desperate to leave for an unspecified new home, too.


Its clear bays are bad for baseball. Just ask the Mets.
   59. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 14, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4157120)
I can think of another major-league market that has a BAY in the middle of the urban AREA. Hey, that area has a team that is desperate to leave for an unspecified new home, too.


Yeah, uh, I should have thought of that one. The San Francisco Bay area is of course significantly more populated and vastly more wealthy than the Tampa Bay area. I should have said that the Tampa Bay area is unique among the smaller markets.
   60. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 07, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4202113)
The Indians are most certainly a legitimate contender in the AL Central, as they were last year (so it's not just coming out of the blue).

This is easily my favorite post of the year to this point so far. Hooo, that's a good one.
   61. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 07, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4202119)
I managed to make it to the Indians one before I noticed the date of any of the posts.
   62. DKDC Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4202148)
Has anyone invested a word yet for people who bookmark old threads and then selectively bump them months later when events have turned out in their favor?
   63. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4202156)
Has anyone invested a word yet for people who bookmark old threads and then selectively bump them months later when events have turned out in their favor?

Hmm.

Selectibots?
Bumperhumpers?
Memorytrolls?

I like selectibots!
   64. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4202160)
People with even emptier lives than the rest of us?

(OK, that's 9 words too many ...)
   65. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4202163)
People with even emptier lives than the rest of us?

I'm pretty sure that's impossible.
   66. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4202167)
Whatever team Joey B. supports must really be having an uninspiring season if he needs to get all his joy from gloating at the failures of others.
   67. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4202183)
Has anyone invested a word yet for people who bookmark old threads and then selectively bump them months later when events have turned out in their favor
Jackass

EDIT: Bearing in mind, of course, that I do this as well. Let's all go visit the "Braves Release Melky Cabrera" thread from the '10 off-season!

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