July 21, 2024

Rob Manfred spoke at a press conference this week about the Tampa Bay Rays and the progress of their new stadium project.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was at Tropicana Field for the mid-week series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs, discussing various matters with players from both teams. Following the meeting, Tampa Bay Times and Rays beat reporter Marc Topkin claimed that Manfred is optimistic in the new stadium deal’s completion.

The commissioner is referring to the new ballpark in St. Petersburg’s Historic Gas Plant District, which will cost approximately $1.3 billion. The team unveiled revised renderings of the ballpark at the end of May.

The St. Petersburg City Council also approved preliminary development plans for the gas plant district, with a final decision scheduled for July. Following the hearing, Manfred was asked about the Rays’ new ballpark plans, and he had some positive things to say.

 

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“I’m confident that they’ll be able to get it done… We believe the Tampa Bay region is extremely essential to baseball… Getting a firm agreement on what the stadium’s future will be is at the very top of our priority list.”

This transaction appears to be extremely likely to go through, which would relieve a significant amount of strain on the Tampa Bay Rays organization. This has been an ongoing battle that has called the Rays’ future in the Tampa Bay area into question for quite some time. However, now that both the St. Petersburg city council and the MLB commissioner appear optimistic, it appears like professional baseball has a future on Florida’s gulf coast.

It is a huge relief for Rays fans and the organization, as they want to continue bringing competitive baseball to the table without the distraction of a move.

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