When I am not playing sports writer, I can usually be found wearing a lab coat. And as a scientist, if there is one thing I don’t believe in, it is coincidences.

That leads us to this story by Michael Sasso for TBO.com. According to Sasso, an investor with ties to the people behind the Colorado Rockies stadium deal, has purchased land in the Channelside District of downtown Tampa.

This is the same Channelside area that is the home of the St. Pete Times Forum, and the area that many believe is best-suited as a future home for our very own Tampa Bay Rays.

And how is this related to the Rockies? Follow along as we play six degree of Coors Field separation…

  • Michael Baker runs the two companies that purchased the land in Channelside.
  • The parent company of those companies is Gold Crown Management.
  • A partner with Gold Crown Management is Raymond Baker.
  • Raymond Baker is a senior advisor to the Romani Group, a company that develops sports stadiums.
  • Raymond Baker is also a chairman for the Denver Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District.
  • Denver Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District owns Coors Field.
  • Raymond Baker is — you guessed it — the father of Michael Baker.

According to Sasso, Baker the Elder, “helped orchestrate public financing for the Rockies’ stadium.” Does this mean there will soon be a baseball stadium going up in Tampa?

Maybe not. Baker the Younger claims the land purchase is only for parking revenue and multifamily housing and there are no plans for a baseball stadium…

*cough*bullshit*cough. What? Oh sorry. Damn cold.



  1. Sarah says:

    Well, their explanation (parking and housing) makes total sense, because clearly Tampa's downtown needs much more parking and multi family housing (sarcasm). Of course they'll use it for surface parking to generate revenue now, but no one buys downtown land with the goal of using it, long term, for parking.

  2. Jordi says:

    Betcha dollars to donuts someone will buy land by the casino for the same "purpose".

  3. Tom says:

    Where in Channelside would they build a stadium?

    • Andy says:

      haha that's what I was thinking. There isn't any room unless you starting knocking things down... a lot of things.

      • Ryan says:

        Just north of the Forum.

        There is enough room to put a stadium there, very few buildings to knock down.

    • Blake says:

      What is considered Channelside is larger than what people usually think of when they hear the name. The real estate they are talking about is currently just open abandoned area used for parking lots as well as a couple of outdated buildings (if what they are talking about expands as far as I think it does.

      Quite frankly, any Rays stadium there will have problems with parking and would logistically be much more feasible with better public transit in Tampa.

      • nate says:

        Oh man, better public transportation! The problem of every major city in Florida, including Miami. Too bad we don't currently have, or have the ability to build, a rail from downtown tampa, through east hillsborough and up to Orlando. That would really help. What? You mean that could happen? Get Rick Scott on the phone!. (crickets).

  4. Michael says:

    Yes. Multi-family housing. Because we need more empty skyscrapers to get our set of steak knives.

    Pretty weak alibi. This has the strong aroma of stadium.

  5. Could the Rays buy out of their user contract at the Trop?

  6. cuzin says:

    Haha! All you need now is a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, a chalk board, and you could have your very own Glen Beck theory!

  7. jayb says:

    There is plenty of room around channnel side, but what a disaster traffic will be getting in and out of there. Tampa traffic is terrible as it is add 10,000 vehicles to traffic around 5;30. Thats enough to keep me away, it would be weekends only for me. No way could you have a Rays game and a Lightning game the same night.
    Secondly Hillsborough. county has said several times they are not paying for it. And Channel Side land is going to be expensive. Plus its going to cost the rays 20 mill. plus to get out of there lease.
    I think the only way it gets done in Tampa is if the Casino gets involved and donates the land and some $ towards const.
    As for the high speed rail, get real nobody is going to spend $25 each way per person to travel from orlando, then drop $40 on a ticket drinks ect...


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