What is going on with professional sports teams in Florida?
The Tampa Bay Rays wanted to play half of their home games in Montreal before the deal died (story HERE).
Now, the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to play two games in London next year (story HERE).
Heck, they just don’t want to leave the state, they want to leave the country.
Meanwhile, here in Orlando, we’re on the outside looking in when it comes to the NFL and Major League Baseball. Yeah, we’re trying the make the Orlando Dreamers a reality, but there is no timetable for that.
The behavior of these two teams in rival Florida markets only makes our case stronger. We’re a city that players and money hungry ownership can be happy to come home to. We’ve demonstrated we’ll do what it takes to get them here too.
We’ve got the Orlando Magic who play in the beautiful Amway Center that we built to make them happy. We have the Orlando City and Pride, who play at Exploria, which we were preparing to pay for before the City picked up the tab (a press conference I attended in person, that still surprises me to this day). And Camping World Stadium, which will essentially be a new building when the second round of renovations are eventually completed. Then there is always Disney right around the corner.
Three annual college bowl games. The NFL Pro Bowl and pre season. Two Wrestlemanias. NCAA tournament. They’ve all been here and you’ve heard this all before.
What’s it going to take? The answer is probably time. It’s also likely, any new teams won’t be the Rays or the Jags. Whether it’s money, real estate, or previous obligations, they’re both longshots.
So, we’ll just have to sit back and watch as both of these teams try to get out of staying home, while we sit back waiting to for another pro team to finally call us theirs.