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Rays Officially Seek Return to Disney World

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The Rays have made official their desire to return for an encore series at Disney's Wide World of Sports this year. The Rays will ask the St. Petersburg City Council for permission to play a three game series on April 22-24 against the Toronto Blue Jays; the city must approve the Rays' move since the team's lease at Tropicana Field binds them to an 81 game home schedule in St. Petersburg. The City Council is expected to vote on the matter at their January 24th meeting, though I'd anticipate approval being merely a formality.

It seems like last year's experience has the Rays brass intent on making this an annual thing. The Rays couldn't have asked for a better debut than what they got last May: good weather, sellouts or near-sellouts, and a three game sweep of the visiting Texas Rangers. Unlike last year's opponent, the Blue Jays make multiple trips each year to play the Rays in Florida. As such, moving this one midweek series will not squeeze fans out of an opportunity to see the Jays in St. Petersburg.

Quite frankly, I have come around on this matter. I am not wildly in favor of the move, in fact I think it's impact is pretty minimal to be quite honest, but I don't think it causes any great harm. It certainly won't hurt the Rays to get into the Orlando area for the week, and it ultimately ends up being just three games out of 81. Hopefully it will work out as well for the Rays this year as it apparently did last May.