Here we go again. St. Petersburg, which is quite the happening place and the downtown model for what Tampa would like to be, still has an identity crisis.
Over the Devil Rays.
Seems that the national media persist in occasionally confusing Tampa Bay with Tampa, thus short shrifting St. Petersburg as the actual site of Tropicana Field. Miffed to the max was St. Pete City Councilman Bill Foster, who drafted a resolution requesting the Rays to formally put St. Petersburg in their name. As if.
It’s the Rays’ call legally until the team’s contract with the city runs out in 20 years. But they’re not about to abandon their regional identification, even if the national media don’t know the difference between Tampa Bay and Green Bay.
In the mean time, the Rays’ host city still gets 81 St. Petersburg datelines a year, which go across the country – and sometimes farther. And should the Rays get competitive and attract network TV coverage, those waterfront-vista shots will render all this poor-me pique irrelevant.
But the day the team agrees to call itself the St. Petersburg Devil Rays will be the day we read of the Foxboro Patriots.