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Hey guys, what are the chances that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization would replace that domed Tropicana Field with something fans actually would want to go to if they wanted to see a baseball game? I dunno, watching a baseball game in a dome...in FLORIDA? I never liked the idea...I feel an outdoor ballpark is the only thing that could acutally raise attendance levels. Attendance is very low, and something needs to be done. Downtown St. Petersburg is a great location; its close to the beach. What are the chances of seeing a new stadium built to replace that ugly Tropicana Field? I know, the afternoon thunder showers during the summer are a problem, so why not a retractable roof? I know its expensive, but I feel it could revive the franchise. What do you guys think?
 

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I wonder if a new stadium in a more central area like tampa would help to help draw more fans because it would draw from the pinellas, tampa, and orlando metro area. Of course an owner who would spend more money to get good players would help. But I do agree downtown st pete is nice, too bad the stadium wasn't built closer to the water.
 

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If they waited until after they were awarded the team, the stadium probably would have been much better and probably near the water. After Camden Yards in Baltimore was built, pretty much all baseball stadia have been built to pedestrian scale in downtown or near downtown locations.

To answer the question though, I don't think city residents would support a new stadium after what happened with the current one. First the city forced it down the taxpayers throat, who had no say in whether or not it was built at their expense. Then they had a big contest to name it, and some genius came up with the Thunderdome, he must have been pretty proud of himself. But then the Rays sold out and let some corporation slap their name on it. No one was thrilled with that either. If there was enough room to build a new stadium at Al Lang Field, that would be the perfect location for St. Pete, but it's not nearly enough land for a large-scale ballpark.
 

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I wonder if it's possible to retofit a retractable roof on the current structure. Additionally, the stadium need to be more inviting to pedestrians on the 16th Street S side, build some parking structures instead of all that surface parking, and add an entertainment complex down the center of the property on the east side along the 3rd Ave S axis. Then pay St. Pete Housing Authority (Graham Park) and U-haul to relocate and continue the complex on out to Dr ML King Jr Street -- perhaps anchor it with a hotel and an apartment/condo building.

Just my little vision... :)

Something needs to be done with that thing. However, like AgentOrange said, I don't see taxpayers supporting it -- unless the Rays have a banner year, and even then I think it's still unlikely to get taxpayers to support a new stadium. If they do it, it's going to have to be privately built.
 

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The chances are zilch, zip, nada IMO.


Also, I am of the opinion that doing additional anything in the dome's current location isn't going to help anything, as that location sucks, as evidenced by the St Pete Times' own research. According to them, the best location would actually be nearer the Fair Grounds...Furthermore, the dome's design was outdated the day the place opened, and was even worse by the time the Rays moved in (which is why $58mil was spent, trying to fix it up)
 

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I can't see there being a new base ball stadium being built for the Devil rays in the Tampa bay area. i see them relocating before then. The thunderdome is an awful stadium built in a awful location.
 

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New Stadium - either at that location, Gateway or DT Tampa - and they will have much money. The typical pattern in Tampa teams:

Expansion with cheap, useless owner
Years of crap, with everyone saying the fans are bad
New Owner and New Stadium/Arena
More Fans/More money
Championship
Something wierd . . .

If you build it, they will come. . .
 

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What I expect over the next few years is this:

Naimoli steps down and the first (or one of the first) thing that Stuart Sternberg says as Managing General Partner is that the team needs a new stadium to survive. The problem is the team ha sshown virtually no committment to the fans or to the product on field and then asking the fans to foot the bill on a new stadium? It's insanity.

So seeign the Rays relocate is a possibility.

I think some of the Trops biggest flaws are ones that ownership[ is currently causing. The product inside the Trop sucks, they really didn't make use of all the floorspace they had in the renovation (as I have found plenty of space for further arena investing around the upper deck concourse) and the arena is showing it';s age and in desperate need of a thorough cleaning. Add to it poor PR and the Trop looks liek the WHite Elephant that it is.

I was thinking that - in a few years -- St. Petersburg might make a push to be the new home of the Lightning if and when they start barking aobut needing a new arena (though Ice Palace only being 10 years old, I don't expect that barking so soon). Getting 20 thousand fans downtown is easier than getting 45 thousand....

Not saying I woudl want a new arena in downtown St. Petersgburg (I much prefer the location in Downtown tampa) but I'm just saying it coudl happen in the event a new venue is needed.... Depending on what the Rays do in the next few years.
 

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how old is the trop.
 

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If the Rays leave, Dt St Pete will be home to no major league sports franchise any time soon.

I had a half season package for two years at the Thunderdome for the Lightning, and loved everything about the hockey games, except getting there. This is also mainly why I don't go to Rays games. I've been a few, and the drive sucked even worse than it did when I went to Lightning games. If there is any real hope of having a fan base which includes folks from the ever growing northern and eastern suburbs, the team simply cannot be located in DT St Pete.
 

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The Mad Hatter!! said:
how old is the trop.
Construction began on Tropicana Field in 1986. The Stadium opened in 1990. It's DESIGN was from the early 1980's / late 1970's....

15 years old -- the stadium lease is for 30 years and the building has been outdated since it opened.
 

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Jasonhouse said:
If the Rays leave, Dt St Pete will be home to no major league sports franchise any time soon.

I had a half season package for two years at the Thunderdome for the Lightning, and loved everything about the hockey games, except getting there. This is also mainly why I don't go to Rays games. I've been a few, and the drive sucked even worse than it did when I went to Lightning games. If there is any real hope of having a fan base which includes folks from the ever growing northern and eastern suburbs, the team simply cannot be located in DT St Pete.
Just for the sake of discussion, Jason, I had been wondering where they woudl stick a new arena with Downtown being built out in the vicinity of the Forum real soon? I could see the City striking a deal to obtain the land for convention center expansion (but it woudl be awkward - building aroung the Embassy Suites...)

Stick it in North Downtown? Or closer to Central Park? Or do you relocate the arena all togethr to someplace liek the faigrounds? Or the suburbs (ugh! no!)?

This discussion is all moot seeing Ice Palace is only 10 years old and Palace Sports runs the arena well... but I'm just throwing all this crap outfor discussion sake.
 

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As much as I'd like to see the Rays remain in DT St. Pete, I agree that the best places for the team to play are definately Gateway or Tampa. The psychology of people in the Tampa Bay area is that if there really is one "central city", Tampa is that city, and people are willing to drive there for certain things. That's why there has to be more than just baseball to get people to come to DT St. Pete -- like an open-air entertainment complex attached to the stadium. But, at any rate, taxpayers won't be paying for a new stadium.

I would support complete demolition of the dome to build a new large-scale mixed-use/mixed income urban development in exchange for a new stadium in Gateway or Tampa.
 

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If you think baseball sucks now inside the Trop, just wait until a new ballpark opens up and you have to sit outside during the summer in 90 to 100 heat with 100 % humidity. There is also the chance for thunderstorms every single day from June to September. Now a new park would be nice, but eventually the outdoor elements would take its toll.
 

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^^true,i don't like to go to sunday afternoon marlins game because of the heat
 

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Or, like in Houston, which has a similar issue - you put a retractable roof on the thing. . . duh . . .
 

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SDK4 said:
If you think baseball sucks now inside the Trop, just wait until a new ballpark opens up and you have to sit outside during the summer in 90 to 100 heat with 100 % humidity. There is also the chance for thunderstorms every single day from June to September. Now a new park would be nice, but eventually the outdoor elements would take its toll.
Retractable roof, or full-time dome. I don't want to see an open air baseball stadium either. Talk about surefire way of gauranteeing that I never go see a game, unless it's early in the season, at night. All a stadium here really needs to be is just not a shit-ass design, with stupifyingly bad siting, located in a terrible spot in the metro. IMO, The Rays are suffering from a trifecta of horrible planning, brought about by inept leadership.

It's the same reason we get bumblefuck plans like the Tampa museum getting redone, and why the Bucs are allowed to build thier training facility next to the stadium, and why hundreds of millions gets poured into roads, and transit is ignored (and everyone wonders why traffic gets nothign but worse)... Our 'leaders' refuse to see past the next election.
 

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They will never build an open air stadium - any new stadium would be retractable roof - like all the other hot weather locations. I don't even care if it is in downtown St. Pete, as long as they put it on the right side of the lot. The present place is too dumpy.

BTW, I have no problem with the Bucs training being right there - you could never get anything decent built on that lot anyway - it abuts houses and those people would obviously complain.
 
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