Jake's Take: An Outsider's View on the New Stadium

The following comments are that of Jacob Larsen and do not represent the thoughts and idea of the staff and management of DRays Bay. -Jake

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When I read the anti-stadium rumblings of fans and their reasonings for being so against moving out of Tropicana Field, I kinda laugh to myself. Nothing is more ironic than a Floridian complaining about weather, seeing as Florida experiences some of the best weather in the US. It's not called the Sunshine State for giggles.

However, it irks me that lack of on-site parking would become such a focal point and possible "deal-breaker" when it comes to the referendum needed to be passed to allow the demolishing of Al Lang Field and the building of what I dub "The Ark". Not sure what people have against walking, especially when basically the stadium is being bought and paid for without a single dime is coming from in-state taxpayers. I realize that people have grown accustom to the Trop, but it's pretty bad when our last series included us taking 3 out of 4 games versus the Yankees and barely drew over 50% capacity in any of the games, with half the series the Rays were playing the role of being the "best team in the AL"(winning percentage-wise) and "division leaders".

Why complain about the walks or the weather, when it's apparent that Tropicana isn't a place where fans want to be seen at either. "The Ark", however is at least innovative and asthetically pleasing?

Here's my gripe, from an out-of-state fans' point-of-view.

Chicago has 2, count them, 2 open-air stadiums. No "sail", no cool breezes from local bodies of water(the lake is a good 20+ miles from either stadium's easternmost point) and if it did ever get a breeze...it'd be miraculous with the stifling number of vehicles and buildings standing in between the stadiums and Lake Michigan. U.S. Cellular Field has on-site parking, which proves very costly(Over 20 bucks, if you want to park within a 5-minute walking distance of the park and ability to leave the stadium in a timely manner)

Wrigley Field, the Chicago Park without a parking facility/lot) does have mass transit to-and-from the park, but the local trains are still a 5 minute walk from the park and with the maximum capacity of Wrigley Field(which is an almost automatic 38-40,000 people)...it's apparent that 80% of the time that you're going to be body-to-body close to someone at some point during the day and it's almost a given that you're going to get some form of fluid spilled on you.

With the Rays, early on when the stadium is build, it may get a little hectic finding a way to park and get to the park, but it's nothing close to the near-bar crawl overflowingness of humanity that fills either Chicago stadium in much hotter and unprotected environments. Also, who's to say that the games at the new park weren't going to be 4-5 PM game starts during the week when it's a likliehood that the sweltering heat of the Florida Sun has started to unhinge it's hold on unsuspecting pedestrians? Is a 72 artificially-made temperature that much of a plus, when the late-game starts and "The Sail" of the Ark would put the temperature at or around 70-75 degrees?

I guess I'd have to live in Florida to fully know the weather that you guys are put through during the hot summer months.

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