Tampa, FL, 5th Feb 2022, ZEXPRWIRE, Major League Baseball has decided to forego a sister city approach to a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays in favor of a full season program in Tampa Bay. Interested parties have turned their attention to creating a reasonable and fiscally responsible plan to relocate the team to its long preferred Ybor City site.
“I will continue to lead the efforts to keep the Rays in our region, while focusing on creative financial options that protect the taxpayers,” commented Ken Hagan, the ranking member of the Hillsborough County commissioner and long-time supporter of the Rays baseball team.
Although MLB did not comment on its decision, many point to the Rays’ struggle with attendance, Tampa Bay’s growing metro area, and MLB’s bullishness on Tampa Bay’s 11th largest media market in the United States. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred commented in 2020 that he was “100 percent convinced,” as were the owners, that it was the best thing to keep Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay.
“Manfred’s support of Tampa is not at all surprising since we’ve been named the Best Sports City of 2021,” commented Commissioner Ken Hagan. “And I believe that we will be not only successful in keeping the Rays here, but in mobilizing the corporate, sponsorship, and advertising support that will be needed.”
“I further believe that centralizing the ballpark along our major transportation corridors will make it easier and more accessible,” Hagan added. “And I wholeheartedly believe that in just a few short years, our Tampa Bay Rays fans will be selling out Rays games, the ballpark will be hosting exciting events on non-game days and evenings, and Ybor City will skyrocket to the next level as a top tier destination in Tampa Bay that it was always meant to be.”
About County Commissioner Ken Hagan
County Commissioner Ken Hagan is a native and lifelong resident of Hillsborough County. He was first elected as a Hillsborough County Commissioner in November 2002, and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008 to District 2. He was elected to represent countywide District 5 in 2010 and 2014. Ken Hagan was appointed Chaplain in Fiscal Years 2003, 2004 and 2010; Vice Chairman in Fiscal Years 2005, 2006 and 2007; by his peers he was chosen to serve as Chairman in Fiscal Years 2008-2010 and 2013-2014. Hagan has also chaired the County’s transportation Task Force. Additionally, Hagan serves on the Expressway Authority, Hospital Authority, and Tampa Bay Sports Authority.
For more than twenty years, Commissioner Ken Hagan has provided reliable leadership in helping Hillsborough County through a variety of difficult times, including the Great Recession and the COVID-related pandemic. His focus has been on recruiting and diversifying to higher paying jobs in energy, technology, e-commerce, manufacturing and arts and culture. Commissioner Hagan focuses on a targeted use of federal and state workforce dollars to retain and expand small and mid-size businesses while ensuring that extra attention and help goes to local retailers and restaurants.
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