As Chairman of the Ybor City Museum Society, I proudly support the Tampa Bay Rays 2020 and their effort to bring the Rays Ballpark to Ybor City.
From The Society’s perspective, as owners and developers of the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, it makes sense to bring a ballpark to the place where Tampa’s First baseball club was established by Cuban immigrants in 1887. As an organization based in the heart of Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, we welcome the vibrancy and economic growth that this ballpark will provide not only to Ybor City but to the entire Tampa Bay Area.
The Rays have demonstrated their dedication to honoring Tampa Bay’s iconic baseball heritage that includes the early leagues and the more than 80 professional players who have come from this area. They have spent significant time in Ybor City to ensure the authenticity of the ballpark they are creating.
Now that their designs have been unveiled, it is evident that the Rays are creating a community asset that will become both a place to enjoy baseball and a place to recreate 24/7, even when there is no baseball being played. I commend Rays 2020 co-chairs Ron Christaldi and Chuck Sykes, as well those in the community whose support they have garnered, for helping the Rays to build one of the most unique and neighborhood-friendly ballparks, one that can be enjoyed by individuals and families throughout the year.
Patrick A. Venable
Ybor City Museum Society