Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Community group pushing for new Tampa Bay Rays home to take a break

CLEARWATER — Formed nearly two years ago, a community group pressing for a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays agreed Tuesday to recess until given a new mission.

"We'll be available, but not active," said Jeff Lyash, chairman of the ABC Coalition. "We may be (given a new task), but that task is not clear right now."

Today's presentation of the board's final report at the Hillsborough County Commission will be the last one made by the coalition, at least for a while.

The coalition was created in 2008 by then-St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker after a Rays proposal for a downtown waterfront stadium was scuttled. Baker asked Lyash, a Progress Energy executive, to assemble business and community leaders to study whether a new stadium was needed to replace Tropicana Field, where the Rays are signed to play until 2028.

But Tropicana Field wouldn't get enough support and revenue to sustain a competitive team, the coalition concluded. So its members examined possible stadiums sites, some of which were in Hillsborough County. In response, St. Petersburg officials stopped attending the meetings. City Attorney John Wolfe warned that any discussion of moving the Rays from downtown would be viewed as tampering with the city's contract with the club, and could spark legal action.

Despite being denied the chance to deliver its findings to the St. Petersburg City Council, the coalition did present its final report to various other boards, including the Pinellas County Commission, the Tiger Bay Club and the Tourist Development Council.

"We did our job," said Craig Sher, chairman of the Sembler Co. and an ABC Coalition board member. "We started a conversation."

Where that conversation will lead is anyone's guess. The Rays aren't talking with St. Petersburg and vice versa. And while the Rays have racked up baseball's best record (28-11), its attendance ranks 20th.

Michael Van Sickler can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or mvansickler@sptimes.com.

Community group pushing for new Tampa Bay Rays home to take a break 05/18/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

    Blogs

    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

    Future
  2. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

  3. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  4. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]