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Joe Maddon wants The Trop blown up

Jul 19, 2011, 7:01 PM EDT

Tropicana Field AP

After Sunday’s five-minute delay caused by a shattered light and Monday’s 18-minute holdup due to a power outage, Rays manager Joe Maddon joined the chorus Tuesday in calling for Tropicana Field to be replaced.

“I don’t think anybody is going to argue against the fact that we do need a new ballpark,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “Nobody is going to argue against that point. What it seems to be is this inability to get togther regarding where it should be located.”

Tropicana Field is just 21 years old, but since it was built as a multi-purpose facility long before the Rays were placed in St. Pete, it’s never been particularly well suited for baseball.

“You shouldn’t play with all these obstructions, and all these caveats,” Maddon said. “Of course not. It’s runs it’s course. It was here for a moment. It served it’s purpose. And now it’s time to move on. Absolutely it is. And to deny that, everybody has just got their head in the sand, period.”

  1. exposjayshabs - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Can’t we just move them to Montreal already…

    • cur68 - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:33 AM

      Yeah, love the idea but where would they play? Stade olympique is too old and decrepit for MLB. No. Move the Rays to Vancouver and re-name them after an iconic Canadian animal like the Rays which are an iconic Florida water animal. This way they’d be the Vancouver Beavers. Or possibly the Vancouver Mighty Beavers…of Anahiem…or something

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:49 PM

        I liked this for the “of Anaheim” joke alone.

    • indaburg - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:38 AM

      Don’t the Rays already play in South Canada? Judging by the number of Canadian plates I see down here, it sure feels that way.

      • philly56 - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        What is “south canada” – you mean everything that’s not covered in permafrost?

  2. randomdigits - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    I think Joe has his head in the sand if he thinks Tampa/St Pete with a 10.5 unemployment rate has the funds available to build them a new stadium.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      It’ll drop to 1.5 since everyone will get to work on the new stadium! It’ll revitalize the whole community!

    • poreef - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      I love the assumption that the government should build the thing. The recession just means it will be cheaper for a private developer to build it now. Steel and employees are only going to go up in cost…

      • kalinedrive - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        I wonder what the breakeven point would be for a private company to build a stadium and get back his investment in, say, 10-15-20 years by leasing it to a team and collecting parking, etc. Whatever it is, the team owners could also do the same thing. So, it is frustrating that the public usually ends up paying so much of the cost on most of these projects.

        Did Joe Robbie get his money back on his stadium, Old Gator? I’m sure that Huizenga money gave him a tidy profit on the franchise.

    • floridinion - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      That’s why you build it in Clearwater.

  3. hittfamily - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Holy Cow!!! I just ranted on this yesterday. It was not built as a “multi purpose stadium”. It was designed as a baseball facility. Tampa had a football team and a pro soccer team, and St. Pete wanted in the pro sports game too. It has a sloped roof to protect it from hurricanes. What happened to the metrodome will never happen to the trop. The cat walks hold up the roof. It isnt a balloon, it is a solid roof. The roof was put as low as possible to keep the A.C. bills down. It is expensive to cool a few million cubic feet from 95 degrees to70 degrees. It was designed in the 80’s, and players are stronger now. What might have happened once every five years in 1985 now results in a ball hitting a ring once every other month.

    Balls bounce off the rings a half dozen times a year, so obviously we have to build something else. While we are at it, blow up Cowboys stadium because once out of 20 home games, the massive television interfered with a punt. How bout the ivy in Wrigly. One could argue they need to put some Roundup on that shit because I’m tired of ground rule doubles being lost in the ivy. What idiot puts a flagpole on top of a hill in center field.

    Stadiums have quirks. All of em. They are unique. Leave it at that.

    • fquaye149 - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:37 PM

      Well…okay. But the new Cowboys stadius is a state of the art facility and by all accounts a great place to see a game. It’s not like Tropicana’s only shortcoming is the catwalks. Maddon is speaking out becaue of a power outage in addition to lits breaking. THEN there is the issue of the catwalks. AND there is the complaint that it’s one of the least aesthetically pleasing parks in baseball and one of the reasons attendance is so bad in TB. Your comparison doesn’t seem to hold up

      • hittfamily - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        The lights went out because it was struck by lightning. When a few million volts of electricity strike a building, there is a decent chance a transformer will be blown, be it in St Pete or New York, state of the art or not, and no matter how aesthetically pleasing said building is.

        Cowboys stadium isnt state of the art. It is 2 years old, far from new. The high def tv isnt even 3d.

        That was sarcasm. I thought sarcasm was implied in the original post as well.

        The trop is only 21 years old. They arent getting a new stadium in the largest recession of the last 80 years. Suppose the Tampa taxpayers build that $500,000,000 stadium ESPN dreams of. How does that improve Tampa to warrant each taxpayer having to finance a public building that will benefit very few financially. If another 10,000 show up, sure it will create jobs. Obviosly additional parking attendants, ushers, janitors, concession workers and security guards will be needed.

        Unfortunately, those are all minimum wage jobs. Rays ownership will bank an extra 30-50 million, and Tampa taxpayers get a few hundred $12,000 per year jobs lobbed its way. Not a very good $500,000,000 investment.

      • bjavie - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        I live in Dallas and I HATE the Dallas Cowboys.

        However, anyone who says Cowboys Stadium is not state of the art has clearly never, ever been there. I have been there several times and the building is so awesome I would watch boche being played there.

        And you contradict yourself by saying that two years old is “far from new” and in the same breath say “The trop is only 21 years old.”

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:55 AM

      Well, I would only note about the Tropicana Dump as Redd Foxx might have noted about Shirley Chisholm, she ain’t got no “quirks.” She ugly.

    • bigleagues - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:26 AM

      Ehhh, the Trop doesn’t have unique quirks – it has incompatible architecture for Major League Baseball.

      If it was built with baseball in mind, the architects and engineers should find another line of work. I’m sorry, I just don’t see how anyone in 1990 thought that that would be a suitable design for baseball.

      It is easily the worst facility in the Majors. The stadium authority only cares about getting its rent and really could care less if the Rays succeed or not, as long as the rent check clears.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      “What happened to the metrodome will never happen to the trop.”

      What, you don’t get two feet of snow overnight?

  4. jimbo1949 - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Madden wants a new stadium. Is he gonna pay for it? Those ensconced in Hades want ice water.
    I’m tired of paying to build a place were millionaire players and billionaire owners can charge me more money to get into a place I’ve already paid for.
    All these free market capitalists wanting welfare so they can make more millions. I don’t wanna hear it.

  5. dogsweat1 - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    The “Trap” has been offensive for years.

    Even the outside of it looks deformed.

    However, with all the Yanks and Bosox fans in West Florida—does it really matter?

  6. patsandsox - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Its too bad really. They have a great young team in Tampa. They are well run with a damn good manager.

    I watch the games with the Red Sox and the place seems empty, how will they be able to afford a new stadium with nobody coming to see them?

    I hope they can work something out.

  7. deathmonkey41 - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    They definately need a new stadium…in a new city…in a different state.

    • hittfamily - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM

      There isnt a dwelling within 30 minutes of the Trop. Bad location in a good city.

  8. jaypace - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    They built the trop formally known as the thunder dome to lure the white sox. Yes it was a multi purpose facility but what stadium isn’t. But it was meant for baseball. Having been to the trop many times and being there the first time the cat walk was hit by a bomb off the bat of frank Thomas. They could build a new stadium in the bay between Tampa and st pete and people would still complain about location. I have come to the realization that maybe the bay area is just a football town. Growing up in new York even when the yanks sucked in the 80’s people still went out. A new stadium might peak attendance for a while but eventually the folks will stop coming. It’s a shame because mgt is putting a quality team on the field which is something the previous owner didn’t do.

    • hittfamily - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      New York has 24 million people. They dont sell out every home game. Neither does Boston. New York is 40 times bigger than St Pete, and 12 times biger than the bay area. Comparing the 2 isnt really fair.

      • marinersnate - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:52 AM

        New York has 24 million people. They dont sell out every home game. Neither does Boston.”

        From Wiki:

        “Dedicated Red Sox fans (collectively known as “Red Sox Nation”), have sold out every Red Sox home game since May 15, 2003; in 2008, the park sold out its 456th consecutive Red Sox game, breaking a Major League Baseball record. Fans who attended this game received gifts to celebrate this accomplishment. As of March 30, 2011, the Red Sox have had 631 consecutive sellouts, which is easily the best in Major League Baseball history”

        Nope. You are right. Boston does not sell out every game.

      • bigleagues - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:13 AM

        hittfamily . . . WHERE do you get your facts from?

        The Red Sox DO sell out every home game have sold out EVERY Home game since May 2003. That’s over 8 straight years of sell-outs. And yes that is the ML record by a long shot.

        How did you arrive at 24 Million in people in New York? According to the 2010 census NY STATE has approximate population of 19,378,000.

        If we go by the Combined Statistical Area’s (CSA) which expand a given market to its widest logical boundaries based on commuting patterns – then the NY metro area (which would include Long Island, Northern NJ, Western CT and a small part of Western PA) has a population of 22,200,000. But that’s sort of misleading because by the time you get to New Haven (which is part of the NY CSA), Red Sox/Yankees loyalties are split 50/50. And lest we forget those Mets fans.

        A more appropriate number might be the Metropolitan Statistical Area which is approximately 18,900,000 and includes only Long Island, Fairfield County and Northern NJ.

        If we go strictly by Designated Media Area (DMA), then NYC has an estimated 7.5 million households.

        Tampa/St Pete is the 19th largest MSA in the US at nearly 2.8 million.

        In any event, at most – NY is 8 times larger than Tampa/St Pete.

        As to why the Yankees don’t sell out every home game? Well, although there have been improvements, it’s still no the easiest or quickest Stadium to get in and out of. Oh, and it’s about as pricey to attend a game as Fenway – but with 11,000 more seats.

        But I agree . . . comparing NY to Tampa/St Pete in terms of market size isn’t fair.

        But its also no excuse for not finding a solution to the lease issue and building a suitable Major League Stadium.

      • bigleagues - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:18 AM

        marinersnate:

        Ha! and I thought I’d be the only one at this hour typing that response.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        hittfamily…you’re really on a roll with your posts today.

        In the words of Duke from Rocky IV, “Throw the damned towel.”

      • hittfamily - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        I got my 24 million the same place the writer of the article we are responding to got the information that The Trop was built as a muliti purpuse stadium. I pulled it out of my ass.

        As far as the Sox not selling out every home game, apparently their storied franchise started in 2004, so 2003 attendance records dont count.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_population

        New York City has 8.175 million people. St. Pete has 244,769.

        To do as much research as you have done, I can safely assume you have no job or family. By being forced to research my estimation New York City is 40 times larger than St Pete, I have concluded I was wrong. It is only 33 times larger. Thanks for wasting my time.

      • bigleagues - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:48 PM

        hittfamily,

        I don’t mind if you attempt to rebut arguments that I make but when you start making personal insults simply because I called you out on making shit up it only reflects negatively on you.

        I happen to have spent a portion of my life working in marketing and my Father made his living in advertising. I understand markets. The population of the City proper (whether that be NYC or the City of Tampa – or St Pete where the Trop is located) is certainly part of the discussion but beyond the finances of the prospective owner – nowhere near as important as regional population, DMA (TV market size) and geographical access.

        The Trop is in a bad location. When I drove through there I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to get to versus parks in other metros areas of a similar size. And you probably know this but half the population is cut off by a large bay and long bridge. Then once you are there, the Trop is nothing special to see. It has all the character and charm of an abandoned state hospital.

        Which, and you’ll love how I bring this full circle, is why there have been rumblings in recent years that should Stuart Sternberg ever find an equitable way out of his lease – he may seek to move the team North to . . . . Northern NJ or Southwestern CT, which of course, is part of the New York-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

        Sorry if I came off as a dick, but quite frankly, sometimes I am.

      • hittfamily - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        I am sorry for the “obviusly you dont” comment. I didnt even see who I was responding to. I enjoy our verbal sparring, and it is fun to live a dream and act like a sports writer on here. I was frustrated with others and attacked you. I apologize to you. I simply meant every stat someone uses in here is debatable, and I have been getting a lot of baseless attacks on here in the last day because someone finds a stat to “prove” me wrong. I dont have any desire to use exact figures, when my knowledge and estimations are good enough. I dont make baseless arguments, and my ideas are grounded in truth. I have an opinion, and will express it, but from here on out will doi it without insulting others.

        hittfamily…you’re really on a roll with your posts today. In the words of Duke from Rocky IV, “Throw the damned towel.”

        hittfamily . . . WHERE do you get your facts from?

        As always, hindsight is 20/20 – which makes posts like yours all that more irritating.

        Beckett is in Cy Young territory this year, and you apparently are an idiot.

        I was a huge detractor before the season, saying the same thing as you, but there comes a time to admit you are wrong.

      • bigleagues - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:36 AM

        hittfamily:

        Just for the record I gave you a thumbs up on that last post. You reversed the tables well on your attackers – which apparently I was one. Sometimes the way it sounds in my head comes across differently on the other end in someone else context. The “where do you get your facts from” was being said with a smile on my face and a poke at your gut. An the “which makes posts like yours all the more irritating” was more bait to reel you in than anything – but, I won’t yield on the hindsight is 20/20 portion.

        So I’m sorry as well because I obviously contributed to your frustration. I still don’t agree with you, but now I like you :-0

        And btw, only a few days I was getting killed just as badly, so I know how it feels. The sick thing is I actually enjoy the negative feedback as much as the positive.

    • indaburg - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:12 AM

      Hello, fellow insomniacs. The Sox may currently sell out every home game, but an 8 year sample size in a 110 year old franchise is pretty small. Historically, not every game has been a sell and contrary to what the “nation” believes, there were some lean years in attendance. The Rays are still in their relative infancy, historically speaking. (and when is Boston going to finally get a new stadium? I never did understand that green monstrosity in left field. Want to talk obstructions? I don’t see too many new stadiums built with that lovely feature.) I am not saying the Rays don’t need a new stadium. When it was a referendum in St Pete, I voted in favor of it. Sadly, I was in the minority.

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:36 PM

      Thunder Dome?

      Isn’t that where meethane cometh from pig shit?

  9. ingloriousmaster - Jul 19, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Kudos to Maddon for saying this, it needed to be said .. And kudos for staying neutral and not stating which side should build it. Maddon gave the perfect answer if you ask me.

  10. jaypace - Jul 19, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Considering Tampa is 20 minutes from st pet I would say there is a considerable number of dwellings within a half hour of the trop

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:10 AM

      Not during rush hour.

      And the place ought to be blown up on aesthetic grounds alone.

      Aside from that, the stadium needs to be built slightly to the east of Tampa where it’s more accessible within a sane amount of time to the Orlando/Lakeland fans. Some day, when Florida rids itself of the disease of Rick Scott – whose veto of the bullet train confirmed his determination to keep Florida firmly rooted in the transportation third world – there might even be some semi-modern transit system linking the communities of the I-4 corridor. Some day, that system might even link them to the rest of the know world. You just need to clean the Tea Party decerebrates and self-styled messengers of at least one of the two greatest guys in the universe out of Tallahassee and replace those morons with folks who understand that in matters of infrastructure and planning, private enterprise ain’t the answer all the time, if even much of it.

    • indaburg - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:34 AM

      Prior to last year, I lived walking distance to the Trop in a great little neighborhood of old bungalows known as Kenwood.

      Thanks to my job, I travel daily between Tampa and St Pete, throughout both Hillsborough and Pinellas. During rush hour, getting into St Pete takes me about 30 minutes. It is much harder to get into Tampa during rush hour. I know if they move to east of I4 (the connection between 275 and I4 is called malfunction junction for a reason), the number of games I will be able to attend will be few. That said, even though it would make it more difficult for Pinellas residents, I think a better location is downtown Tampa, near the Ice Palace where the Bolts play. At the same time, even with a new stadium, I think attendance will still be poor after the novelty wears off as Gator will see soon when the Feesh get their new stadium. Florida is a lousy sports state. Too many transients who won’t let go of old alliances. Too few people actually born here. This is a college football state and that is about it. Ask the Bucs about their attendance issues in Tampa. They’ve been blacked out on tv since 2009. The Jags are rumored to also be skipping the state. It makes me sad, but that is the reality of our state. (I can’t wait to be rid of this asshat crook of a gov either.)

      • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:27 AM

        Oh, I don’t doubt that the attendance at Macondo Banana Massacre Field will drop off as soon as the novelty abates – but frankly, I think that’ll happen by next August. Some downtowns, like Baltimore’s, are great places for stadiums due to good civic planning, public transportation and the attractions of the surrounding neighborhoods. Downtown Macondo is a terrible place for a stadium. There ain’t shit going on around it, local transportation is terrible and highway access is a short string of bottlenecks (which won’t matter all that much eventually, given how small the crowds will be anyway).

        East of Tampa would be a totally different story, I think.But just plunking the stadium down would be a mistake. Think around what needs to be done to make it a genuine destination as well as a more convenient one.

        And for Buddha’s sake, don’t make it so damned ugly.

  11. Elwood Larf - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    I love Joe Maddon. If you don’t, you’ve got your head in the sand, period.

    • bigleagues - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:21 AM

      I’m an unabashed Red So fan and obviously love Terry Francoma.

      But Joe Maddon is right there with him in my book. I love the guy. The glasses, the outspokenness, the Papi Shift – wait, what am I saying?!

  12. jaypace - Jul 20, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    What stadium in the u.s. is convenient to get to during rush hour. Sorry it takes a 45 min to cross the bridge during rush hour.

  13. vickadelphiaphreedom - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Rays, attract more than 87 people to a home game that’s not against the Sox or Yankess (which in that case 40% of the fans are of the visiting team) and we’ll discuss a new house.

    • flpunx - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Look at the attendance for the Cardinals and Reds series at home this year. I was there for the Reds series and can guarantee you that it was a majority home crowd. And as to the Yankees and Red Sox die-hards, spring training has been happening in Florida way longer than the Rays have been here, and seeing as how the Yankees are in Tampa for their camp, you have a lot of fans that are so because of the hundred years of spring training. But, yeah, I’m sure you know all about what happens in Tropicana Field on a nightly basis.

  14. tellyspop - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    I certainly agree with Father Joe the Trop needs to go. While we are at how about moving the Rays to Tampa so the uniforms will no longer sport a lie. Put me down for those against Rick Scott and actually did not vote for him. The diseased one killed the bullet train but recently came out for the Sun Rail Train for Orlando and parts unknown. Since a few of us have talked about moving teams, how about moving Houston to Kissimmee, FL. Then they would be known as the Kissimmee Astros.

  15. johncobalt - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Hey Matthew, do you know the difference between it’s and its?

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Better send him a copy of Strunk and White. Used ones are available on Amazon for half a buck – but if you wait till this weekend you can get new ones at Borders for five cents each.

    • bjavie - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      He uses “it’s” once in the article, and he uses it correctly. In this case it is a contraction for “it has” as in “it has never been…”

      • bjavie - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        Ah, ok, are you referring to Maddon’s quote? Maybe that’s how Maddon was quoted.

  16. jaypace - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    I thought the waterfront stadium they wanted to build in downtown st Pete would have been nice. If you move the stadium closer to Orlando then you’ll have all the Sarasota/Bradenton people complaining about distance. Someone made an excellent point about gov Scott being a douche. A high speed rail and a team somewhere along I4 might draw more in the short term but it does take generations to build a fan base. I just think fl in not a baseball state which is ridiculous considering how well college and high school teams do. The marlins have won two chips and have to close the upper deck, the rays win the al east two out of three years and can only pack the place if they make the playoffs. I don’t know that there is a silver bullet to fix the attendance woes. Where ever the new stadium goes(if it goes anywhere) there is going to be a segment of the population to complain. But that’s fl for ya. Having lived here for six years I do know that whatever happens people are going to complain.

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      I’ll leave the issue of whether Florida is a “baseball state” or not for someone else to speculate about. The case of the Feesh is different from that of the Razed. Yes, they pocketed two championships but in both cases, rather than build on their evolving tradition the owners of the team at the two respective times exploded both rosters and sold their stars off for ethanol. That hurt. Then, the interstitial owner, carpetbagger John Henry, came down here promising to rebuild the team and build his own stadium if the state wouldn’t do it – then bailed and saddled us with Scrooge McLoria as soon as he realized he didn’t know bat shit about Macondo’s special Latinized stew of cronyism, patronage and nepotism nor could he deal with the hardcore cracker kleptocracy of Tallahassee either.

      If you’re a fan base, you aren’t going to take kindly to being kicked in the cojones so hard that they obstruct your sinuses twice during the same arrested adolescence, you know?

  17. rcali - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Good Idea Joe. Why don’t you pay for it then?

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