Tommy Pham: Rays need a new stadium or a new city

Rays outfielder Tommy Pham said he missed playing in front of the fans of St. Louis and lamented the poor fan support he's seen since coming to Tampa Bay.
Tommy Pham said he missed playing baseball in St. Louis and lamented the poor fan support in Tampa Bay on Thursday during an MLB Radio interview.  [Photo via Twitter/MLB Network]
Tommy Pham said he missed playing baseball in St. Louis and lamented the poor fan support in Tampa Bay on Thursday during an MLB Radio interview. [Photo via Twitter/MLB Network]
Published December 27 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays outfielder Tommy Pham said Thursday he thinks the team needs a new stadium or a new city.

Pham's comments came during an interview on MLB Radio on SiriusXM.

"It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all,"  said Pham, who was traded from St. Louis to the Rays on July 31 in a deal for three minor leaguers.

"St. Louis, they're one of the few teams to where day in and day out they have 40,000 fans at every game, and that's something that I miss. Because even out here in the Dominican they have a strong fan base with the team I'm playing for. Their fans are very supportive, they're loud, and the Rays,  they just don't have that."

Pham was interviews from the Dominican Republic where he played  in the Dominican Winter League with Leones del Escogido. His comments come just weeks after the Rays aborted their Ybor City stadium plans and formally closed their stadium search outside St. Petersburg. The Rays' lease at Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season.

"Do I think something has to happen, whether it be a new ballpark or maybe a new city? I think so," Pham said during the MLB Radio interview. "If you have a team that's going to be winning 90-plus games, competing in that division, and you don't have any fan support,  then that's a huge problem."

Here's audio from that interview:

Contact Mike Sherman at msherman@tampabay.com. Follow @mikesherman

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