- 2014 - 2016: Please just hurry up and do something!
- 2012 - 2013: The Marlins have a new stadium!!
- 2010 - 2011: St. Pete losing leverage in negotiations
The Tampa Bay Rays open their 20th season Sunday in sold-out Tropicana Field with new turf, new concessions (a $13 grilled cheese burger!?), new players — and a familiar discussion about prospects for a new stadium. By Opening Day in 2018, there should be a site selected for the next Rays ballpark and a general agreement on how to pay for it. The continuing uncertainty is unhealthy for the Rays and for a region that is enjoying a growth spurt but cannot afford to lose major-league baseball.Of course, it isn't finding a site that's the biggest challenge; it's the financing and lack of appetite for public subsidies.
That's unlikely to change in the next 12 months. But at least the Times isn't contributing as much to MLB's fearmongering as it used to back earlier in the decade.
Although, it's good to see they're not afraid to recycle a lede:
The sellout crowd at the Tampa Bay Rays' 14th season opener tonight at Tropicana Field will find new food choices, a new playing surface and plenty of new players. What the franchise needs to ensure its long-term future in the region is a serious conversation about a new stadium.
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Twitter
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Facebook