We’re excited that Tampa Bay Rays pitchers and catchers will report to their ballpark in a couple of weeks for the “soft opening” of the 2013 baseball season. Once again, prospects for a winning season are promising. The same can’t be said, though, about the long-term prognosis for the Rays in St. Petersburg, where the Rays have struggled with declining attendance in recent years despite fielding an exciting, competitive team.
The main problem is Tropicana Field, home to the Rays since 1998. The outdated dome is situated toward the south side of St. Pete, which makes it more convenient to fans from the southern part of the region but much less so for the population base in Tampa. Without a new centrally located, modern-style stadium, owners say they may have to leave.
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