Times writer Stephen Nohlgren reports:
About 55 percent of Tampa Bay area residents overall prefer Major League Baseball to remain at Tropicana Field or at a mid-Pinellas location in the Gateway area.Want further evidence that average residents shouldn't be trusted with important decisions? Nohlgren reports, of Hillsborough County residents, "about 27 percent favor the fairgrounds at Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 301, compared with 17 percent who like downtown and 5 percent who prefer the West Shore area."
Part of that sentiment stems from fans like Gulfport resident Christina Ramires, a disabled widow who likes the short drive to the Trop. "We always go two or three times a year when they offer discount tickets to school kids,'' she said.
But support for the Trop also stems from Hillsborough residents like Michael Fall of Apollo Beach, who thinks "the Rays should stay put. I don't think they deserve a new stadium."
About 30 percent of respondents favor a Hillsborough site...The 508 people polled were divided evenly between Hillsborough and Pinellas residents.
However, research has shown a fairgrounds site wouldn't be much more accessible to Tampa Bay's population than the current Downtown St. Petersburg site. And it wouldn't have the redevelopment potential a Downtown Tampa site would have, either.