Plant City and Eastern Hillsborough County would greatly benefit from the Rays moving to Ybor City. This community prides itself on being a great place to raise a family and our families love baseball. In the late 80’s and 90’s, you couldn’t find an empty seat at The Plant City Stadium when The Cincinnati Reds trained here. Gary Sheffield is even planning to build his multi-million dollar sports academy in Plant City due to our strategic location and love for the game.
While we love baseball, let’s face it, our community is simply not interested in fighting I-4, I-275 and the bridge for a game. Plant City currently has approximately 40,000 residents and is projected to grow to 70,000 by 2045. As development extends east from Tampa and I-75, Plant City is positioned to attract new residential communities which will support new industry along I-4. Can you imagine what traffic will look like with 30,000 additional residents locally and nearly 600,000 spread throughout the county? Those are the projections and they’re coming whether we like it, or not. If our residents are not going to St. Pete to watch Rays now, you can bet they won’t be in 2045.
Over 13,000 Plant City residents commute to Tampa and surrounding areas for work every day. Many of them keep a Lightning jersey at the office to enjoy the occasional hockey game before heading home. It wouldn’t be a stretch to expect those same people to keep a Rays hat handy for the same reason.
Jake Austin, President
Plant City EDC