Tampa Bay Rays Could Get Infrastructure Money for Stadium

By David Hill
ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 03: A general view as pitcher David Price
ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 03: A general view as pitcher David Price /

Part of the problem with Tropicana Field involves the lack of infrastructure around the stadium. Their potential new stadium may end up being partially funded with money earmarked to improve the area’s infrastructure.

There are quite a few problems with Tropicana Field, depending on who one asks. While the Tampa Bay Rays home stadium possesses a few delightful quirks, it is almost universally considered to be outdated. Then, there is the issue of being able to access the Trop itself. Given its location, it is not exactly the easiest venue to watch a baseball game at.

The idea is that a new stadium will correct those issues. The Rays would then be able to actually draw a viable crowd, increasing their payroll, and keep their franchise players. At least, that is the theory. Of course, the Rays also need to be able to pay for the new stadium, or get financing from whatever locale they head to.

As it turns out, Hillsborough County may be coming up with a way to help the Rays stay in the area. According to e-mails acquired by WTSP.com, there have been discussions about using federal money earmarked to improve infrastructure to help facilitate the new stadium.

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This plan, if it comes to fruition, would certainly be controversial. As the article points out, there are quite a few projects in need of funding. And, given what happened when the Marlins got their taxpayer funded stadium, there may well be a bit of backlash if a new stadium for the Rays is funded before some of these projects.

However, if the Rays are to get that new stadium, it will almost assuredly involve receiving funds from the state. Whether this comes from a tax increase, bonds, or other means, remains to be seen. The idea of moving funds that would be used for other purposes is certainly an interesting idea, and one that could remove the burden from the taxpayer, at least in a direct sense.

Next: Better late than never

The Tampa Bay Rays may well get their new stadium. If this plan happens, then the financing may be there as well.