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Florida Matters

Hillsborough County officials revive the Rays’ Ybor City stadium idea

Rays fans holding Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay signs inside the stadium
Mary Shedden
/
WUSF Public Media
Tampa Bay Rays fans show their support for keeping the team in the area during a playoff game in 2021.

A 2018 effort to lure the team there from St. Petersburg stalled and eventually failed over funding disagreements with the county.

This week on Florida Matters, we break down a new proposal to bring the Tampa Bay Rays to Tampa.

Last year, the Tampa Sports Authority commissioned a report to understand how the city could attract the baseball team to Ybor City.

A 2018 effort to lure the team there from St. Petersburg stalled and eventually failed over funding disagreements with Hillsborough County.

To understand what’s different this time, host Steve Newborn speaks with Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan.

Hagan, who has worked on the Rays' stadium issue for the past 12 years, said attempts to launch another round of talks was dampened by COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020.

But first, Newborn talks with John Romano, a sports columnist with the Tampa Bay Times, about the current delays with Major League Baseball's spring training lockout.

He also asks Romano about St. Pete mayor Ken Welch’s idea to re-evaluate the use of Albert Whitted Airport and whether that 110-acre site could have a different use, such as a new stadium for the Rays.

You can listen to Newborn's conversations with Romano and Hagan by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

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