© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says there's a sense of urgency in the Rays' ballpark search

Rob Manfred at the podium
John Raoux
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred makes comments during a news conference at MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Orlando.

Manfred made the statement a month after Major League Baseball nixed the Rays' split-season plan with Montreal.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says league officials “have a sense of urgency” to find a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Manfred made the comments Thursday after Major League Baseball scrapped a plan last month to split seasons between Florida and Montreal when the team’s lease at Tropicana Field expires following the 2027 season.

Major League Baseball gave the Rays the go-ahead in June 2019 to explore the two-city plan, then announced Jan. 20 that the concept had been rejected.

The Rays are perennially plagued by among the lowest home attendance in the major leagues.

A full season baseball stadium in Ybor City could cost just under $900 million, according to a recent analysis commissioned by the Tampa Sports Authority.

As recently as October, Rays officials have said a split-city plan was the only viable alternative to keeping the Rays in the greater Tampa Bay region — even just part-time.

Last month, former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman chose Midtown Development of Miami as his choice to redevelop the 86-acre Tropicana Field site.

It now goes for approval before the city council — which will have three new members — and new mayor Ken Welch.

Information from WUSF staff was used in this report.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.