MLB: Tampa Bay denied by MLB

21 January 2022 22:22:33 GMTPlus10
Rays manager Kevin Cash

Tampa Bay Rays have been denied by Major League Baseball a plan to split their season between their current home in Florida and with Montreal.

The Rays are 14/1 to win the 2022 World Series and the argument from Tampa Bay's point of view is that they cannot attract the crowds to Tropicana Field.

Rays looking for resolution

Winning matches hasn't drawn people to the ground, which is located more than 20 miles away from downtown Tampa.

Since 2008, the year of Tampa's first postseason appearance, the team has posted a .545 winning percentage, the fourth-best in the sport. The Rays reached the World Series in 2020, they also set a franchise record with 100 wins in 2021.

However, the average for last season in attendance per night at the Trop was 9,513, the 28th lowest total in MLB. The Rays lease with Tropicana Field doesn't expire till 2028.

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The two-city plan was met with scepticism when it was announced by Tampa Bay and was permitted to be explored by Major League Baseball.

Sternberg ready to bide time

Rays' owner Stu Sternberg described the plan as a 'bold concept' when it was announced. He believes professional sports will see duel 'home games' for many teams in the future.

Speaking to the Athletic, Sternberg said: "We'll see how the stands look this year, the support we get. That's going to inform us, as well, going forward with our plans.

"I understand we're not going to be 12th in attendance in baseball, or 10th. It's just not to be, unfortunately. But it would be ideal if, off a 100-win season, we could fall somewhere like No.20 in attendance in Major League Baseball. I don't think it's too much to ask."

There still is a possibility that the Rays may move to other Florida-based cities.

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