Blog Entry

Tropicana Field taking a beating

Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 7:16 pm
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By Matt Snyder

Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, has never been especially popular. There are several reasons for this, such as: 1) It's a dome, which is quite archaic at this point; 2) It's not aesthetically pleasing; 3) The location means it takes Tampa resident upward of a hour to get there; 4) It rarely draws close to capacity.

Things have gotten so bad that Rays president Matt Silverman said the malign affects the Rays and damages the reputation of the entire region.

"Clearly, something needs to be done," he said (TampaBay.com).

Rays manager Joe Maddon has also gotten in on the action, saying the Trop has become "improper" for Major League Baseball, that it has "served its purpose" and it is "time to move on." (TampaBay.com)

There's a problem, though. If the Rays wish to remain in the immediate area -- like moving from St. Peterburg to Tampa, which would make sense -- they're going to have a tough time doing so.

"They have 15 years left on their lease agreement … so, yeah, I'm holding on pretty tightly," St. Pete mayor Bill Foster said (TampaBay.com). "If they want to look at sites within Pinellas County, I'm all for that."

I don't think there's any question that something needs to be done. The Rays have been one of the most competitive teams in baseball since 2008, and that's against the Yankees and Red Sox having exponentially higher payrolls in the AL East. Still, the Rays have only drawn more fans per game than the A's and Marlins this season. The Marlins have a new stadium coming next season, too.

You can talk about being a small-market team, but both the Indians and Pirates have seen large spikes these past few months as they have been playing winning baseball. The Brewers draw more than 15,000 more fans a game than the Rays. The Rays have been playing winning baseball for three-plus seasons, and nothing drastic is happening, which leads one to believe it never will as things currently stand.

The blame may not lie completely with the ballpark, but until the Rays have a new one, we'll never know. Until then, Tropicana Field will continue to be the scapegoat.

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:19 pm
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:14 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:19 am
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

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Since: Jul 20, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

The Trop is near a troubled neighborhood, but its also close to downtown St. Pete, which is the nicest spot in the Tampa Bay area. The real problem is that it's a hideous old dome built in the mid-80s. It has all the charm of watching a baseball game being played inside a Walmart. It will be interesting to see whether the new Marlins stadium makes a big impact on Miami's similarly disinterested fan base. If it does, I'm sure a new stadium will find traction in Pinellas County. If not, then a new stadium would probably just be throwing taxpayer money.



Since: Jul 20, 2011
Posted on: July 20, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

The mayor's name is Bill Foster, not Scott.



Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

I am a Rays fan that has been to hundreds of games and the stadium is located in the ghettos. Part of the allure of going to a game is that when its over their or nice restraunts bare and clubs around the stadium. The Trop offers a bunch of dives a drinkk with a whino ina alley or giving your money to a mugger for him to go have a good time with. You have to be careful having your family here after dark. The Tampa residents love the Rays but are not going to cross a 10 mile six lane bridge to go hang in the ghattos to watch them. The fans will support a pro team look at the Bucs and the Lightning always sellouts. The are in Tampa not the slums of St. Petersburg. Just move the damn team already.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

When you have to put sand on the turf to cover the shredded tires you have to put on the turf, you need a new stadium. Falling glass, sand and tires should not be part of the MLB experience. But at least the park is centrally located in the middle of nowhere. Thanks for clarifying!




Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

It's actually sand. It's put on top of the astro-turf to cover up the really, really small bits of shredded tires that are used to soften up the turf. Yes, seriously.

- Matt



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Tropicana Field taking a beating

The Trop is a disaster. The field is various shades of green for no real reason, the warning track looks like red carpet, the catwalk is a trainwreck and water sprays up every time the ball hits the ground. What's that all about? Literally every time the ball touches the ground, water sprays up.


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