Rays to ask permission to play series at Disney's Wide World of Sports

Updated: January 11, 2008, 8:14 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays want to go back to Walt Disney World.

The team plans to ask the St. Petersburg City Council for permission to play a series against the Toronto Blue Jays from April 22-24.

If approved, it would be the second consecutive year the Rays played regular season games at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, about 95 miles east of Tropicana Field. Last May, the Rays swept the Texas Rangers in a three-game series at Disney but drew only a combined 27,000 fans.

Still, the Rays believe the games are needed if they are to expand their fan base beyond the Tampa Bay area.

The team recently changed its nickname -- dropping the word 'Devil' -- and unveiled a proposal for a $450 million waterfront stadium in downtown St. Petersburg.

"We were very pleased with every aspect of last year's series at the Disney Sports Complex, particularly the experience we were able to provide for fans who were attending their first Rays games," team president Matt Silverman said in a statement.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press