Charlotte County says hello to Rays

Published September 13, 2006

Charlotte County commissioners voted 4-0 on Tuesday to invite the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to move their spring training headquarters to Charlotte Sports Park starting in 2009.

As expected, commissioners approved a 1 percent bed tax for hotels, which they said would generate $450,000 per year for 22 years to maintain the stadium.

The Devil Rays had a representative at the meeting. The team currently trains in St. Petersburg, which is about a 90-minute drive north of Charlotte County.

The stadium was built for the Texas Rangers' spring training. The Rangers trained in Charlotte County from 1987 to 2002, when they moved to Surprise, Ariz.