Dear Tim Kurkjian,
You have recently published an article detailing some outlandish things that may or may not happen 20 years from now. I admit some of those things I can see being realistic, but most of the article is just absurd claims.
The most absurd of the claims was saying that the Rays and the A’s will not exist anymore. Of course, as a fan, I wanted to learn more about why you think this. But as I kept reading, there was no explanation given.
As someone who lives in the Tampa Bay area, I feel qualified to explain why the Rays will stay in Tampa. Here are the reasons:
1. A new stadium deal will get done, and the Rays will relocate to a more accessible location.
People have been wondering why you predicted the Rays would vanish. Many think that maybe it is just the stadium deal, and the Rays won’t have a home in 10 years, let alone 20. Thus, people are thinking they would either move (ex. Montreal Expos to Washington Nationals) or would be eradicated from the league.
The Rays have been known for having stadium issues and with only 10 years left on the leasing agreement, they might want to hurry up and figure out a long-term solution. But, I have the utmost confidence a deal will get done. Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he is going to help the Rays search for a new stadium spot. We have previously heard spots in the downtown area or Ybor city.
I think the more north they move, the easier it will be for fans to access the stadium. There are so many Rays fans in the northern part of the Tampa Bay area that don’t want to drive all the way down to St. Pete when the game is accessible on TV. The point being, the Rays will get a new stadium. They may be in debt for a while trying to build this thing, but there are Rays fans all over the area who will rejoice when the new stadium arrives.
2. Young Prospects will lead to wins
The phrase, “If you win, they come” is absolutely true. I remember the 2008 season where the stadium was packed during the playoffs. The epic ALCS against the Red Sox. It was almost a perfect season.
Although the Rays have been in a rough patch for the past few years, they appear to be on the right path now. The Rays are a potential playoff team with tons of great prospects on their way up. The logic here is simple. If the Rays win, the people will come again. If the people start coming again, the fan support will be there, and won’t let the Rays leave Tampa. This would not matter if they moved or stayed put at Tropicana.
3. Tampa is an amazing city
Just because Tampa isn’t a huge market base city like Chicago, L.A., or New York, doesn't mean it can’t be successful. Tampa is a beautiful city with great fans. People here love their sports team even when they are terrible. I don’t see another city wanting a baseball team. This city wants this team, especially now as they are turning the corner. Unlike what you may hear from your colleagues at ESPN or other sources, Tampa Bay loves their sports and does support their teams. We may not be as vocal as other cities, but the Rays will not leave this city without a huge fight. In fact, the Rays have fan support not only locally but throughout the world.
Therefore, for all of these reasons, the Rays will be staying put in Tampa.
I understand that you are just predicting, but to make ludicrous statements without any explanation why is ridiculous. We have a dedicated and passionate fan base who will not let the Rays leave this great baseball city.
Do you think the Rays will stay?
This poll is closed
Yes, they will build a new stadium
Yes. they will stay at the Trop
No, there won’t be any team replacing them either
No, they will relocate to a new city