MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confident Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays moving closer to new ballparks

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WASHINGTON — Major League Baseball is confident the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays are moving closer to getting plans in place for new ballparks.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated the game will contemplate enlargement, however solely after the A’s and Rays get new stadiums.

The A’s hoped to construct in downtown Oakland close to Lake Merritt on land owned by Laney College, however the Peralta Community College District’s board of trustees killed the challenge in December. The workforce is now contemplating constructing adjoining to its present house on the Oakland Coliseum or on the waterfront on the Howard Terminal, which is extra distant to mass transit.

“I remain committed to the Oakland market, and it’s not out of some conceptual fealty to the notion of franchise stability,” Manfred stated Tuesday at a gathering of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “It is because I believe that there is not another market in the United States that has the upside potential that Oakland has, and I think we would regret leaving Oakland.”

Manfred known as the Laney College plans “an unfortunate misstep.”

“There is no human endeavor where you get it right every single time,” he stated. “I think Howard Terminal is viable. I think the Coliseum site is viable. And we will be continuing to encourage the A’s to get to a decision point sooner rather than later on where they want to be so that you can get to the next step, which is determining whether you have economic viability in terms of financing and the like.”

The Rays revealed plans final week for a domed ballpark within the Ybor City space of Tampa, which might contain a transfer throughout the bay from their Tropicana Field house in St. Petersburg. The 30,842-seat stadium can be the smallest within the main leagues and is estimated to price $892 million. Its roof can be translucent.

“I thought the design was innovative and well-suited to the Tampa Bay market,” Manfred stated. “I think it was economically efficient.”

Manfred stated the subsequent step is a financing plan

“Stadiums are municipal assets,” he stated. “They are indicative of a … regions’ status kind of as a major league city, and participation either in terms of businesses or governmental entities in the financing of the stadium I continue to believe is completely appropriate.”

He added “if you are going to have private financing, the other piece that has to be present is support for the club in terms of attendance, sponsorship and all those great things that put the owner in a position to repay the debt that they inevitably would have to incur to get the stadium constructed.”

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