One of the two worst ballparks in which the Baltimore Orioles play each year is Tropicana Field. In fact, it’s probably one hair above having to play at the Oakland Coliseum, which in my opinion is the worst park in the majors. The difference is that the O’s play at Tampa nine times a season since they’re in the AL East. Unfortunately, it’s a ballpark they kind of know well.
However yesterday the Tampa Rays announced that they had settled on a site for a new ballpark, in Tampa’s Ybor City. The Orioles, along with the rest of the league, are probably looking forward to the Rays getting new digs. Whether it’s in Ybor City, or – anywhere really. As long as it’s not “The Trop.”
I have my doubts as to whether this will happen. Apparently the Rays have nine years left on their lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. My question would be whether or not their current situation is tenable for nine years. What exactly do I mean by that? Well, when they’re playing midweek evening games in front of 4,000 people, tell me that their continued existence there is possible for nine years.
Tampa’s never been a place where baseball should have expanded. And yes, I recognize that I’m calling out a division rival. However aside from their first game, they’ve had attendance issues from the start. And the fact is that there are a lot of northeastern transplants in the Tampa area. Miami also. And sure while some people might venture out to a game if they get tickets here or there, in reality those people are only going to go when their hometown team comes to town.
So it’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to work something out. However one thing is certain – neither the Orioles, nor any other visiting team, will be sorry to see the Trop go by the wayside.