Advertisement

Rays to move spring training from storm-damaged Port Charlotte facility for 2023

The team is considering several options and hopes to make a decision in the next few weeks.
The Rays announced Thursday that their 2023 spring training camp will be relocated from Port Charlotte due to damage to the facility caused by Hurricane Ian.
The Rays announced Thursday that their 2023 spring training camp will be relocated from Port Charlotte due to damage to the facility caused by Hurricane Ian. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Dec. 2, 2022|Updated Dec. 2, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Thursday made official what had seemed likely, that their 2023 spring training camp will be relocated from Port Charlotte due to damage to the facility caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays are considering several options for a new spring base, including Tropicana Field and the Disney complex formerly used by the Braves, and hope to have a resolution in the next few weeks.

They also need a home for their minor-league teams to train. The previously released exhibition schedule is expected to be revised.

The Charlotte Sports Park facility, which has been the the Rays’ spring home since 2009, sustained extensive damage in the late-September storm, including to the game stadium and other buildings.

The Rays use the facility on a year-round basis for extended spring training, complex and instructional league play, and mini-camps. They have a lease that runs through 2031 after recent extensions, according to the Port Charlotte Sun.

The team and county officials put out a joint statement Thursday night saying, in part, that after “a joint assessment of the damage,” both parties “have determined there is not adequate time before the Rays’ 2023 spring training is scheduled to begin to get the park in suitable condition to host games. Charlotte County supports the Rays’ efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training.”

Added the Rays, “We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts. The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”

• • •

Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.