Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Could we be getting closer to MLB in Orlando? The idea seems far fetched at first look, and for good reason. Miami and Tampa have not been great attendance markets for differing reasons. Miami has failed to consistently put a winning product on the field. Even though they have two World Series trophies in their trophy case. Tampa has been one of the best run organizations over the last decade and a half. But the stadium is in a place that the Tampa community does not support. Why would the MLB in Orlando work? I don’t have a great answer for you, but billionaire Pat Williams thinks it will work. And he’s putting his money where his mouth is. He is proposing a $1.7 billion stadium in an effort to lure a major league team to Orlando.

Pat Williams was instrumental in bringing the Orlando Magic into existence. As the co-founder and Senior Vice President of the Magic, he has constructed 2 teams that have made appearances in the NBA Finals. He has also served as GM for Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia- with the 6ers winning the title in 1983. But does he have baseball experience? Yes he does. He spent 2 years in the Phillies minor league organization as a catcher followed by 5 years in their front office. He also spent 3 years in the Minnesota Twins system as a member of the front office. Williams has shown he knows how to bring teams into a market and have them succeed fairly quickly.

Williams’s proposal for the $1.7 billion stadium would include a domed 45,000 seat stadium, business offices, retail stores, roughly 1,000 hotel rooms, and restaurants. The $1.7 billion is a hefty price tag, and Williams is not funding this privately. Williams has filed and application with an Orange County advisory committee that is contemplating how to spend revenue from a tourist-tax collections. This would not cost the residents of Orange County any of their tax dollars.

  • The Rendering

    This stadium looks great as a rendering, but don’t they always? I’ve got to admit that the park is very cool behind the outfield. But from an areal view it looks like opposing fans could make fun of the shape… very reminiscent of the rocket that took Jeff Bezos into outer space.

  • Who Could They Get?

    MLB in Orlando Rays

    (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

    Williams mentioned the Tampa Bay Rays explicitly in his Tuesday press conference. He hoped the rendering would lure the Rays from their St. Pete home. A home that many believe is why their attendance numbers have been towards the bottom of the league regularly.

    The Oakland A’s announced last month a plan to move to Las Vegas. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said publicly that the league will not expand until the A’s and Rays get new stadiums. Outside of those two teams there aren’t a lot that make sense to move, so it seems like it’s Rays or bust if Orlando wants a major league team any time soon.


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