ORLANDO, Fla. — Editor’s note: This story is available as a result of a content partnership between WFTV and the Orlando Business Journal.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ announced plan to build a new $1.3 billion stadium in St. Petersburg hasn’t struck out Pat Williams’ dream of bringing baseball to Orlando.
Williams, the Orlando Magic co-founder and local sports legend, has been the face of the Orlando Dreamers baseball pursuit in Central Florida, which closely tied its strategy to luring the Rays to Orlando if a new stadium deal couldn’t be reached. Those plans fizzled on Sept. 19, when the Rays announced their plans to replace the now-aging Tropicana Field — which opened in 1990 — and stay on Florida’s west coast.
Williams has told Orlando Business Journal the news just shifts his team’s focus from fighting on two fronts for either an expansion franchise or a relocation of the Rays to concentrating solely on convincing Major League Baseball that Orlando is a good expansion market.
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