Tampa Bay Rays

Rays set to announce preferred stadium location, commissioner says

The Tampa Bay Rays play in front of a packed house at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. On Friday, the team may announce its preferred location for a new stadium.
The Tampa Bay Rays play in front of a packed house at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. On Friday, the team may announce its preferred location for a new stadium. AP file photo

The Tampa Bay Rays are ready to announce their preferred stadium location, a Hillsborough County commissioner says.

According to Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagen, the baseball team is set to announce that Ybor City is its preferred site for a new stadium, Spectrum Bay News 9 reports.

The Rays have scheduled a press conference for 1:30 p.m. Friday. More details and a potential formal announcement could come at that time.

In a tweet, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said he believes the Rays’ current Tropicana Field is the best option and that the situation is still “unfolding.” He said he’s prepared to plan for what St. Petersburg would do if the team relocated.

But Hagen said Ybor City is a perfect fit for the Rays, a ballclub that has been itching to move away from its current stadium for the past several few years.

“It’s a perfect location that will be a catalyst for economic development as well,” Hagen said. “And so that is why the team is going to announce (Friday) that this is their preferred site.”

The Rays will celebrate their 20th anniversary in the upcoming 2018 season.

A Rays spokeswoman declined to comment on the situation, Spectrum Bay News 9 reports.

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan

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