Did anyone else notice the sell-out crowds at the Detroit Tigers-Texas Ranger playoff games in Detroit? This in a city that has suffered perhaps the worst economic downturn in the entire United States, but yet they sell out to their fans game after game.
What’s different between St. Petersburg and Detroit? The Tigers play at Comerica Park, centrally located in their downtown with magnificent views of the Big Three office buildings and right next door to the multi-use Ford Field.
We’ve been hearing a lot about how the Rays fans just don’t come out, they don’t support, and so on. I’m sure the prices for admission are far greater in Detroit than what we have here at Tropicana Field.
But the glaring, most upsetting question is how do the Tigers sell out to a crowd that is struggling with huge job losses, high unemployment rates, severe economic downturn and where downtown Detroit is a virtual ghost town. The simple answer lies in the location, central to the many suburbs that make up the Detroit area.
The Rays need just that. A new ballpark with not so much the expensive state-of-the-art doodads like Yankee Stadium, just one that is centrally located for the total enjoyment of north, south and east of the bay. One where we can be comfortably seated where everyone has a great view of the field without sitting sideways and turning toward the field; a ballpark where we would be proud to support our home town team.
If the Rays can’t even fill the stadium during a playoff scenario, they’ll ultimately move somewhere where they will. If the civic leaders of the entire Bay area work for the betterment of the team and location, we’ll all reap the benefit of the hard work in getting it there.