Tampa Bay Rays: Leaving Florida? Think Caribbean, not Canada

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 08: A general view of Tropicana Field during the National Anthem of Game Four of the American League Divisional Series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays on October 7, 2019, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 08: A general view of Tropicana Field during the National Anthem of Game Four of the American League Divisional Series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays on October 7, 2019, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Santiago Vidal/LatinContent via Getty Images)
(Photo by Santiago Vidal/LatinContent via Getty Images) /

Possible New Homes for the Tampa Bay Rays

Mexico City

Everything that was said about Santo Domingo can also be said of Mexico City. Its citizens are passionate about the game, and almost certainly would relish a chance to show it. MLB won’t even dispute that; it has scheduled a pair of regular-season games to be contested there April 18 and 19 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres.

What do you want to bet they sell out?

In several respects, Mexico City is an even better potential location than Santo Domingo. While the metropolitan population of the Dominican capital essentially replicates Tampa-St. Petersburg, the metro population of the capital of Mexico exceeds 21 million, making it the most populous metro area in the Western Hemisphere.

light. Related Story. Rays Montreal plan first step to relocation

The poor Yankees and Mets have to get by on New York’s mere 20.3 million souls…and they have to share.

Like Santo Domingo, most Mexico City area residents earn far less than average Americans, reducing their disposable income for such things as major league games. But the region’s raw size ensures a substantial enough upper class to ensure a steady fan base at something approaching expected levels of support.

The biggest drawback is probably altitude. If you think Coors Field (elevation 5,200 feet) is a hitter’s paradise, wait until they start playing games at Mexico City’s 7,300-foot elevation. That’s why MLB would be advised to go one step at a time if it opted to look at Mexico City. Allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to play half their schedule there for a few years would provide the data necessary for a serious evaluation.