Tampa Bay Rays: Pros and Cons of a Sister-City – How we got Here

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Tropicana Field (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Tropicana Field was built in 1990 as a way of attracting a team despite not having one lined up. The stadium sat teamless until 1998 when the Devil Rays were introduced as an expansion team. The stadium remains the only fixed dome in the league.

Here’s what Barstool Sports said about it in December of 2018:

How are there six different cat walks just chillin’ over a baseball field, interfering with a ton of fly balls and we just let it happen? It’s insane. It’s not a quirk of a ball park like the Green Monster or what the hill was in Houston before they took it down. No, this stadium just sucks. Unselfishly, the Rays deserve better. They won 90 games last year and have a joke of a home. If you can’t get these guys a real place to play then move them to Montreal. End of story.

Some fans add to the complaints by arguing that the stadium shouldn’t be an enclosed dome with the beautiful weather in the Tampa Bay area. It may not be the most ideal destination on a sunny, tropical weekend on Florida’s gulf coast, to head indoors to a gloomy, domed baseball stadium.

In an area where people travel from all over the country to get escape their whether, in exchange for ours. The Rays need fans to make sacrifices that go beyond monetary value in order to watch a game. They’re asking you to give up a couple of hours of your time so you can commute to the stadium. They are asking you to give up the beautiful, tropical weather to sit in a dome. They are asking you to give up the lush green of the palm trees and grass to look at fake grass inside of an enclosed, gray structure.

The stadium is one of two left in the league with artificial turf.

On the flipside, there is a benefit to watching a baseball game in 72-degree air conditioning when it’s 95 and humid outside. Perhaps the two sides could meet in the middle and find a solution that lets a little natural light in. I suppose that will be a conversation they’ll have when they figure out where they will play their home games in 2028-when their current use agreement expires.

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