Re: Rays ask for Pascoís support | April 6 column
Letís see if I get this straight: Jason Woody expects us Pasco residents to drive to the Raysí new stadium in Ybor City and park at the same time as 20,000-50,000 other fans, then, when the game is over, all drive off at the same time. This is, to put it mildly, a really awful idea. I canít imagine anyone doing it more than once.
No baseball team in the Tampa Bay area is ever going to get enough fans in their stands to pay the bills until we get some serious mass transit ó trolleys, light rail, high speed trains, subways, express buses, etc. We canít keep widening streets and highways forever. Our traffic is already horrible and getting worse every year.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
I am a big Rays fan and live in Pasco. That being said, show me adequate, easily accessible, reasonably priced public transportation to Ybor City or show me easily accessible, reasonably priced public parking.
Carol Goodlin-Couture, New Port Richey
I read with great interest this article because, for one reason, as a relative newbie to the area, I am wondering how this new stadium is going to be built in the historic downtown area. Well, it seems that Sternberg (the Raysí owner) has everyone convinced, from the fans to the politicians to the media, that all he needs is for a new stadium to be built at everyone elseís cost to put a World Series contender on the field. The presumption is that a new facility means sellouts (suggest somebody contact the Yankees, Mets and Marlins to see just how far off that idea is).
Meanwhile, the Rays are expecting Ybor city businesses to back this idiotic idea. It seems he wants the support of businesses and residents who are going to be displaced from the town. Just where do the Rays expect to come up with up to 80 acres to put a new facility?
As far as the demographics you quoted, I donít question your figures, but we all know that numbers can be interpreted different ways. How are people supposed to get to a game? Interstate 4 and Interstate 275 and the various roadways from St. Pete already are a bottleneck. What about parking? Where are the parking lots going to be? There is no mass transit.
A question no one seems to address: Just how big a positive financial impact do the Rays have on the Tampa area?
Finally, who is going to pay for this atrocity? If Sternberg is so sure that all he needs is a new stadium to get attendance to put a winning team on the field, then why doesnít he pay for the whole project?
I donít plan on attending any games now and pay major league prices to see a minor league team and on top of that pay $20 to park and pay a $5 surcharge if I donít buy a ticket prior to five hours before game time.
I would suggest we let the Rays go to Montreal, and in a couple of years they will find out why the Expos had to be taken over by Major League Baseball and eventually move to Washington.
Pardon my ranting, but Iím tired of hearing all this. When I moved from Jersey, I was enthusiastic because all I heard was that the Rays and Bucs were always competitive. Four years later, I see one owner who wonít spend and another owner who doesnít know who to spend on.
PS: The best thing that could have happened to the Rays was for (Derek) Jeter to buy them.
Lonny Pannucci, Hudson