Tampa Bay has emerged as one of the best sports regions in the country with the Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays excelling in their respective leagues. “Champa Bay” is a hard-earned title, and one we cannot let slip away.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been in our community since 1995. They have excelled on the field, outperforming our market size, with the third most wins in Major League Baseball since 2008. Despite this remarkable success, attendance at Tropicana Field consistently ranks at the bottom of the sport.
The Rays want to stay in Tampa Bay, and we believe we should do what we can to save/keep the team in our region. We believe their Sister City Baseball plan with Montreal is a win-win-win for Tampa Bay, Major League Baseball and Montreal.
We endorse the leadership and membership of the three prominent regional chambers who supported this Sister City Baseball plan and the construction of an open-air neighborhood ballpark in Historic Ybor City. The site would serve as home not only for the Rays during the first portion of the season, as well as for half the postseason games, but also as home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The new multi-use facility would be an economic development platform to host national sporting events, concerts and community gatherings, similar to the versatility of Amalie Arena. It would also help spark development in and around Ybor like replicating what other successful urban ballparks like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field have done across the country.
After many years of analysis and conversations, the time has come to prioritize a new home for our Tampa Bay Rays on terms that the current market frames — a shared season in an intimate neighborhood venue, with the benefits of a lasting connection to Montreal and its fans who will come visit here and make Tampa Bay a destination of choice for tourism and commerce.
CEO, Alliant Partners
Executive Chairman, Colliers Florida
Vice Chairman, Publix (Retired)
President & Owner, R.A. Beard & Co
CEO, Lykes Insurance (Retired)
Chairman, Tampa General Hospital (Retired)
CEO, Caspers Company
CEO, Celestar Corporation
Joseph V. Chillura
Senior Executive Vice President, Valley Bank
President & CEO, Tampa Electric
Regional President, Regions Financial Corporation
President & CEO, Tampa General Hospital
Thomas L. duPont
Chairman & Publisher, duPont Publishing
C. Samuel Ellison
Chairman, EWI Construction LLC
President & Owner, Mise en Place Hospitality Group
James L Ferman, Jr.
President & CEO, Ferman Automotive Management
President, Columbia Restaurant Group
Gary W. Harrod
Chairman & Founder, Harrod Properties
President & CEO, Sun State International Trucks LLC
Chairman & CEO, Third Lake Partners
Operating Partner, AEA Investors
A.D. “Sandy” MacKinnon
CEO, ADM Family LTD
Allan S. Martin
Chairman, Atlantic Merchant Capital Investors
Roy J. McCraw, Jr.
Regional Chairman & President, Wachovia (Retired)
Stephen J. Mitchell
Senior Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
Harold W. Mullis
President Emeritus, Trenam Law
President & CEO, Pepin Distributing Company
President/CEO Retired, TECO Energy
Chairman & CEO, Raymond James Bank
Gary L. Sasso
President & CEO, Carlton Fields
CEO, Turtle & Hughes
Chairman, Backstreets Capital
Hon. Alex Sink
State of Florida CFO (2007 – 2011)
CEO & Founder, Bayshore Capital Advisors, LLC
Partner, MVP Holdings
President & CEO, Sykes Enterprises, Inc.
Troy D. Taylor
Chairman & CEO, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida
Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D.
The University of Tampa
Founder & Chairman, Ashley Furniture
Founder & Managing Partner, Weatherford Capital