Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays prepares to swing in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League Spring Training game at Tropicana Field on March 02, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida.

While we’ve been arguing about whether the Tampa Bay Rays should play in Tampa or St. Pete, one of the founders of the Orlando Magic has something else in mind entirely. Channel 8 reports Pat Williams is ready to bring the team to Orlando.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays playing the New York Yankees in a Spring Training game in Lake Buena Vista. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Williams says he wants a team in Orlando even if the Rays decide to stay here. His group is behind an effort to build a $1.7 billion stadium.

Williams says that even if 1 out of every 25 tourists visiting Orlando goes to just a single game, the team would be among the best for attendance in Major League Baseball. The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports the stadium would be built near SeaWorld.

Rays attendance has been up so far this year, thanks to an incredible red hot start. Even after last night’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays are 29-8 on the season. Reduced ticket prices starting at $10 has helped, but the attendance issues the Rays have had in the past will likely come back if the team cools off.

The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field expires in 4 years. They say there’s no word yet from the Rays on an Orlando scenario. [Source: Channel 8, TBBJ]

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