LISTEN LIVE

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays unveiled their long-awaited plans Tuesday for a new ballpark in Tampa's historic Ybor City.

The ultramodern design includes glass walls, a translucent dome to let in sunlight to potentially allow for natural grass, while having features that tip its hat to the surrounding Latin district.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The campaign to rally local support for an Ybor City baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays is gearing up.

Chuck Sykes of Sykes Enterprises and lawyer Ron Christaldi said 100 local civic and business leaders have already signed on to support a Rays stadium in Ybor. Sykes and Christaldi are in charge of Tampa Bay Rays 2020, an organization focused on drumming up community support for the stadium move.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The president of the Tampa Bay Rays spoke Thursday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg for the first time since the team announced it wants to move to Tampa. He fielded some hostile questions - but said a move is almost inevitable.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance against the Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates accusing the teams of failing to appropriately spend revenue-sharing money.

Parkland shooting photo: Leslie Ovalle, WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we’re hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable.

We talk with a panel of journalists about some of the major news stories impacting our state, including last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, a Democratic upset in a special election for Sarasota’s open state house seat, and the Tampa Bay Rays potential move to Ybor City.


Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

There's no timetable on when it would open, and no formal plan of what it would look like, but at least the Tampa Bay Rays have finally announced that they want to build their new ballpark on a 14-acre plot of land in Ybor City.

Google Maps

A group of Tampa business leaders will hold a news conference Friday afternoon to unveil a plan to bring the Tampa Bay Rays to their city - and team ownership may be set to say Ybor City is their preferred location.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Rays are celebrating two decades of baseball this upcoming season, and the team is embracing its past while thinking positively about the future.

On Wednesday, Rays leaders touted a new 20th anniversary logo and other plans to celebrate the occasion. But absent was mention of the team’s future in St. Petersburg, the loss of star players like Evan Longoria, and poor fan attendance.

Google Maps

The Tampa Bay Rays fired the team physician after a video posted on YouTube included accusations of sexual abuse with a teenager who worked for him about a decade ago.

MLB.com

In a move that many fans never expected the Tampa Bay Rays to make, third baseman Evan Longoria has been traded.

The deal with the San Francisco Giants is the latest sign the team is looking to rebuild, as it ends an almost decade-long relationship with the face of the franchise.

VisitFlorida.com

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, is filing a lawsuit to stop what he calls an illegal tax being charged by the city of Tampa.

The Republican legislator announced the lawsuit on Thursday. The lawsuit is part of a series of moves Corcoran announced to go after local economic development and local tourism marketing agencies.

Google Maps

Hillsborough County officials have chosen a site near downtown Tampa as their top choice for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

But possibly losing  the hometown baseball team has become an issue in the St. Petersburg mayor's race.

Caribbean American Civic Movement

Groups in the Tampa Bay area are mounting humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico and holding fundraisers for victims following Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Baseball Forever St. Pete

This story was updated on April 6 at 12:20 p.m.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman today filled in city council members on the "Baseball Forever" plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in town.

The 43-page report gives an overview of the potential for Tropicana Field as a long-term home for the team.
It would convert much of the sprawling parking lot that now surrounds the Trop to include office towers, housing, a "retail entertainment and kid's zone," an on-site hotel and a "research and tech campus."

Kriseman said transportation projects on the drawing board would also make it easier for baseball fans to travel to games.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Tampa Bay Rays management spoke with the media at Tropicana Field Thursday ahead of Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings, which will be held next week in Maryland. 

Rays management reflected on the season that just finished while also looking toward spring training. 

World Series Hits Close To Home For Many Rays Fans

Oct 25, 2016
Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

This year’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians hits close to home for many Tampa Bay Rays fans.

Quite a few players and coaches formerly with the Rays will be in the Series.

Most notable is Cubs manager Joe Maddon. 

Ballpark Reimagined.com / Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays launched a new website, BallparkReimagined.com, to gather your ideas and vision on what a new stadium should look like and include.

Their theme is "Different By Design" and it urges contributors to get creative with ideas that will not only “enhance” the ballpark but make it a community gathering place for generations to come.

The goal is to create: “An icon as distinct as we are,” states the website video.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Imagine a baseball park that is free and open to the public when no games are scheduled. Imagine real grass but with a roof to shield you from Florida’s frequent rain storms.

Those are just a few of the ideas and innovations Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld has in mind for a new stadium no matter where it gets built.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Talks Plans With Rays

Jun 15, 2016
Devin Rodriguez / WUSF News

Hillsborough County is hoping to lure the Tampa Bay Rays out of Tropicana Field.

 

To do that county commissioner Ken Hagan and a group consisting of elected and business leaders from around the county are negotiating plans with the baseball team.

 

On Tuesday, Hagan met with the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce to discuss the importance of baseball for the community and the progress of a deal with the Rays.

 

Tampa Bay Rays

“Pride Night” at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game this Friday is being dedicated to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. And all remaining tickets are priced at $5 to make the game more accessible, said Rays President Brian Auld.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Rays plan to launch a website soon that will let the public contribute their ideas, and feedback on what they'd like to include in a new ballpark.

Tampa Bay Rays

The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday said the Tampa Bay Rays can look for a new home in the Tampa Bay area.

Just days after a City Council election that may signal a shift with the way St. Petersburg deals with the Tampa Bay Rays, Mayor Rick Kriseman sat down Friday with representatives of the team. It was the second meeting in a little over a week between the two sides, which are trying to figure out ways for the Rays to look for a new stadium site. This time, according to the Tampa Bay Times, the meeting was "cordial."

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have turned down the the city of St. Petersburg's proposal that would allow the team out of its Tropicana Field lease for an exit fee.

The arrangement would have let the team look outside the city to build a new stadium before its contract ends in 2027.

In exchange, the Rays would have had to pay $33 million if it left in 2020 for Hillsborough County, $16.5 for another site in Pinellas County, and nothing if it built elsewhere in the city.

Tampa Bay Rays

News that the Atlanta Braves may want to move its spring training facility to Pinellas County has caught the attention of Major League Baseball.

Pinellas County

The Atlanta Braves are talking about moving their spring training home out of Orlando, and Pinellas County is one of the contenders.

Rays, Y Team Up For Water Safety

Jul 28, 2015

  

Nationally, Florida tops the charts for drowning deaths for children under five.  That's why the Tampa Bay Rays and the YMCA partnered again this summer to teach children in the Tampa Bay area how to swim.

There was no need for water wings at the Northeast High School Pool in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, where 75 kids received medals for learning how to swim this summer. The event was part of an initiative called "Be Water Smart From the Start," a collaboration between the Rays and the YMCA to combat the ever-rising tide of drowning deaths in Florida.  

History was made in Baltimore today: The Orioles played in what the league says is the first Major League Baseball game to be closed to the public.

That meant that players came on the field to no cheers and a home run was marked by the crack of a bat and only a few isolated claps.

Here's video of the first pitch:

And video of a three-run home run by Orioles first-baseman Chris Davis:

NPR's Don Gonyea is at Camden Yards this afternoon and he reports that he saw just a small amount of police presence outside the stadium.

AP

 Tickets are on sale to the public for the Tampa Bay Rays three-game series this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.

The series was originally scheduled for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but has been relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg due to protests and violence in Baltimore. 

In 204 days, two teams will face off in the World Series. Until then, fans can dream about their team winning it all, as Major League Baseball's regular season gets going. St. Louis and Chicago played the first game Sunday night; the Cubs lost, 3-0.

Along with that loss, Chicago's fans also endured restroom wait times of up to 30 minutes. Blaming the problem on at least two bathrooms being closed, the club has apologized, Chicago news TV WGN says.

Pages