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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.