Rays fans celebrate win, ponder future in St. Pete

- It's the day baseball fans look forward to all year long: opening day.

Excitement was high at the Trop as the Rays jumped out to a perfect 1-0 on the season after defeating the Yankees 7-3 Sunday, but that excitement was also mixed with plenty of uncertainty. That’s because the future of the Rays in St. Petersburg is anything but certain.

The team has confirmed it’s looking into options for a new stadium to replace the Trop, but what they haven’t said is where that stadium will be located.

An entire movement to keep the Rays in St. Pete has launched with the Baseball Forever campaign, an initiative of the City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, residents, and fans of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Equally as loud, however, are the voices calling to move the team to Tampa. Just before the 2017 home opener Rays owner Stuart Sternberg was asked to shed some light on the debate. His answers, however, didn't really provide many answers.

“We’re progressing. We haven’t taken any steps backwards in the process. It’s always steps forwards, sometimes in sort of like a, may I take one giant step? You may take one baby step kind of red light, green light thing,” said Sternberg.  “The process, I and others would like to move along quicker but it’s moving along steadily, which is most important. I’m very optimistic we’re going to come up with a solution and something that’s going to be a generational type of facility.”

One thing Sternberg did definitively say though: he's not considering moving the team out of state.

“That’s my only focus and will remain my only focus throughout this process and any process going forward. Bay Area,” said Sternberg.
 

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