If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”

However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that many of our wishes came true. Many did not. If we can get a couple of more this year, the Rays might just win it all.

Without further ado…

On the twelfth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, 12 ACRES IN DOWNTOWN TAMPA…

1) We have no problem with the Rays staying in St. Pete or Pinellas County. But all signs point to the Rays not wanting to be in St. Pete. And while we think the Rays can survive in Pinellas we believe Tampa is the best-possible scenario for the future of the franchise.

2) If the choice is selling the team to an outside bidder (and who thinks Stuart Sternberg is going to be loyal to the area and look for a local owner or even limit the bidding on the team to local bidders? That ain’t happening), we pick Tampa.

3) Yes, other areas in Tampa/Hillsborough may work. But if the team is going to move, then let’s do it right this time. Don’t pick the second-best scenario just because it is a little cheaper or because it might also pull in Orlando people or your cousins in Ocala. Pick the spot that is best for the majority of the people in the region. And that means Channelside. Make the park iconic and scenic. Incorporate it into the nightlife and the Aquarium, and the [whatever name it is this week] Forum.

4) If a deal on a new stadium is not reached on a new stadium by the end of this year, we are all in trouble.

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18 Comments

  1. CRRaysHead90 says:

    PLEASE! FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD, GET A STADIUM DEAL DONE! (shouting/over dramatic mode off)

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  2. Joe says:

    Every year, the 11 postseason wins is the one I want the most but I think the fact is, a new stadium is better than a World Series. I'll just "Tebow" for both.

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  3. Matt says:

    Unfortunately, I would be astounded if anything happened with the stadium in the next two years.

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  4. Mike says:

    Nothing can or will happen on a stadium in the next 2-3 years. Even ignoring the issues with the lease in St. Pete and Mayor Foster, there is no money to build a stadium. Yes, the Tampa Sports Authority may be able to come up with $100MM, but that isn't going to get it done. The team is going to need more public funds to build a stadium, and favorable bonds and tax incentives are not enough. The only way to come up with the necessary public money is a tax increase. As much as I like the Rays and wish they were in Tampa, there is no way I can vote in favor of increasing the sales tax when so many people in this area are struggling to pay their mortgage and put food on the table.

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  5. Jared says:

    Mike, get over it. It is half of a penny!!!!!! I am so sick and tired of people bitching over half of a penny.

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    • Dorcas says:

      If it's only "half a penny", you don't mind if they add another one and send the proceeds to me?

      It's not just "half a penny" - it's $hundreds of millions that would otherwise be spent elsewhere in the economy. Any particular reason why the gummint should be redirecting that much money to the Rays? (Don't try using some variation on the "it'll create jobs!" argument - jobs will be created if the $millions are spent elsewhere, too.)

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    • Mike says:

      I can afford to pay an extra half a penny on top of every dollar I spend, but for many people it would be a hardship. If a family spends $20,000 per year on taxable goods and services that half a penny adds up to $100 a year. If times were good I would have no problem with it, but as bad as it is right now I would rather people spend that $100 bucks on Christmas presents for their kids or whatever else they want than force them to help pay for a stadium to host a team they can't currently afford to go see. Adding any new taxes right now is a horrible idea, and if a sales tax came up for a vote in Tampa right now I suspect it would fail horribly.

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  6. Don says:

    To build a baseball stadium in DOWNTOWN TAMPA, is a major business mistake and a losing ($) deal for the owners of the team and the tax payers of Hillysbilly Co..for many reasons... an initial uptick in attendance turns into a major money loser over a few years... then the Rays are gone anyway.... the Tampa metropolitan area is a loser....
    if you can't see that with a new football stadium that can't sell out for 7 games a year...baseball will sell out 10 days in a row...right? Write in down you heard it here.....Cork can pull up this posting 3 years after they move and are going broke...to say good buy...Stuie don't sign a long term lease this time...make the taxpayers eat $800 mil....

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    • Brianknowsbest says:

      what a surprise, don is being negative. Thanks for the scientific analysis don.

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    • slacker775 says:

      I know it's a waste to respond to an obvious troll but the Bucs sold out consistently for over 10 years until the economy and the team hit the skids. '97 was the last year with blackouts, from '98 until '09 or so it was all sell-outs. Everything every person says about how the Tampa Bay area can't support sports teams is a bunch of bunk. The real facts are that we support winning teams and there is a very large fan base for the Rays in the area. The biggest issue with attendance at the Trop is that it is hard to get to for almost everybody - including Pinellas residents. The stadium really isn't all that terrible, could be better but could be a lot worse. There is just a lot to do in this area, and the thought of driving almost an hour in rush hour to get to a game (from Tampa) during the week is a turn off for a lot of people. Worse is the thought of driving an hour or more to get home after such a game.

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      • Jared says:

        I would like to add that I live in Pinellas County and I want the stadium in Tampa. And as a resident of Pinellas County I would be more than glad to have my sales tax raised half a penny as well as Hillsborough's, the tax is not the issue. I just think it is best for the team to be in Tampa because Brandon supports the Rays. You need to be able to be accessible to the suburbs and its obvious that Pinellas isn't coming to the games.

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  7. phil says:

    Rizzo to the cubs ....could of traded Torres to Padres which would have been the equivalent of Cashner who the cubs sent in the deal.

    Any young first baseman available for trade?? Davis or Niemman for ________?

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  8. Don says:

    Brian what do you know (best) ? tell me what you know about the city of Tampa and its support of Sports teams
    There is more people at a Plant city football game (free) then there would be at a baseball game on Tue. night for $100.00
    I'll bet you on that one...

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  9. Gus says:

    Watch the Miami experiment go down in flames here in the next 3 years, and you'll all realize better to live in a house that is paid for than to be over-leveraged in a McMansion. Hasn't the last 4 years told us the dangers of over-leveraging, especially in Florida?

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  10. MLBRays says:

    The stadium should be built on the Tampa Fairgrounds with Seminole tribe money. The Seminoles get naming rights and relaxed gaming rules. The people of central Florida get a new stadium for the Rays in a much better location. Problem solved.

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    • Chris says:

      Yes, this would work. But Selig would never allow it. Major League Baseball is never going to want a team so closely associated with a casino, even if there is no sports gambling. It just doesn't look good.

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      • MLBRays says:

        You may be right but the next 3-5 years will see gaming become much more mainstream and that could/will influence the major sports into looking for additional revenue streams through the gaming companies. Casinos will continue to pop up everywhere and as they do the stigma associated with them will lessen.

        Perhaps the option of allowing Tampa Seminole more relaxed rules in exchange for more tax money to the state with the money being earmarked for a new stadium? That way it is indirect association!

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  11. Don says:

    Now there's an idea, if the Indians were involved that means the gaming people (Vegas) would be running the place, marketing, advertising and stadium accommodations and they would fill the place even If they had to run busses thru the Whole West Coast of Florida to bring people in, they are business people, baseball people are mediorce business managers at best...the Indians (vegas) could fill the trop if they had an owneship interest!

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