Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays stadium plans: What fans in and around the Trop are saying

ST. PETERSBURG — After the Rays unveiled the new plans for their $892 million stadium in Ybor City, fans at Ferg's Sports Bar and Tropicana Field shared their views on the proposed move across the bay:

Love the roof

"We've been coming since day one. We love the Trop. I know it has its limitations and issues, but for us it's a 20-minute drive at the most and parking is easy. Going to Tampa, I think the new stadium will be awesome and fun to go to, see through the roof and restaurants and have everything there that we don't have here. Biggest issue is the traffic because it will take three to four times as long so I don't know if I'll be able to keep my season tickets but at the same time."

—Nicole Doolittle, 46, Clearwater

Who will pay?

"If the state doesn't help pay for this stadium, the people of Hillsborough will never build it. Cause they are not going to pay for it. End of story."

—John Ireland, 70, St Petersburg

An outdoor atmosphere

"I wish the roof was retractable, but it's a nice option versus here at Tropicana, especially for natural light. The sliding walls are nice so you can still have that outdoor atmosphere. We went to St. Louis for a hockey game and they had ballpark village, so we are hoping for something similar for that to come to Tampa. We think they are going to bring that feel with a lot of shops and entertainment."

—Samantha Myberg, 30, Cocoa

Great location

"I think it's a great location, it's got to be 30 to 40 minutes from a lot of people. I know there's a lot of people that don't like the drive over the bridge, but stadium looks awesome. I like the smaller capacity, less seating, the Tropicana is huge and as big as it is it never sells out. The seats are going to be closer to the field and I think it's going to help bring fans to the team."

—Dennis Dean, 34, Cocoa

Fairgrounds would have been better

"I'm happy they are moving the stadium, the best place would have been at the (Florida State) Fairgrounds, they would have allowed more north, south, east and west traffic to have access to the stadium. I think the biggest failure in St Pete is the lack of people coming from the north or the east from Orlando to enjoy the park. Coming through Tampa traffic is horrible. I work and live in Tampa and coming out here is horrible. I'm worried about the parking though."

—Kolby Boyd, 42, Riverview

They need a smaller stadium

"I don't know if Ybor is the right place. They need a smaller stadium because they can't fill the Trop. Definitely a bigger market in Ybor, I think you alienate some of the Pinellas County residents though. I'm an avid fan so I don't see a problem making the extra trip but for some other people in the county, that might be a deal breaker."

—Kyle Walker, 22, Clearwater

Forget about the drive

"I'm a Los Angeles guy so I drove an hour and a half to get to Dodgers Stadium 20 years before I moved to Florida. So I think it will be great, nice facility, user-friendly, opened when games are not there so you and can go and get lunch. I think it's a great location and people in Tampa (Bay) just don't understand how great it can be because the mileage is not important. What's important is that you enjoy yourself, in a customer- friendly facility."

—Ed Montoya, 67, Palm Harbor

"We're season-ticket holders and we've been coming here for years and we love it here. Will I still go in Tampa? Heck yes. It looks beautiful. The glass top looks really cool, so I'd still go there or here because I love the Rays."

—Miesje Flach, 66, New Port Richey

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