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Rays 'not close at all' to Ybor City stadium, will likely play at Tropicana Field through 2027

Posted at 3:10 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 20:17:03-05

The Rays are 'not close at all' to the Ybor City stadium deal as the three-year window to look for new venues closes.

"Unfortunately, that window is closing without us achieving that goal," Sternberg said.



Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred noted his concerns on the Rays stadium issue in a letter sent to the team Tuesday. Read the full letter here.

Manfred noted that the project lacked public commitments, private investor commitments, a feasible financing plan, a project completion date, site control, and project costs.

The commissioner said he would happily make himself available, but that considering the lack of specifics and the very short time frame, he's not sure what kind of help he could provide.

"As much as we want this to move efficiently, three years wasn't enough time," Rays President Matt Silverman said. "Now it's time to regroup and all options are on the table in Tampa Bay."

The Tampa Bay Rays will likely be stuck at Tropicana Field through 2027 when the team's lease ends.

With regards to the Ybor ballpark, President Brian Auld said nothing is off the table at this point, but the absolute earliest the Rays could be in a new ballpark is 2024.

The team assures fans they will keep working to find the right place for the Rays to play.

"We're gonna keep at it to find a way to build a ballpark and make sure the Rays are a permanent fixture in Tampa Bay," Silverman said.

St. Petersburg's Mayor Rick Kriseman released the following statement after the day's events:

"The Memorandum of Understanding we struck with the Tampa Bay Rays worked as intended. The organization was given three years to explore future stadium sites throughout our region. I stand ready, if asked, to continue the conversation related to the organization's future in St. Pete."