The Tampa Bay Rays will relocate the team’s 2023 spring training camp from Port Charlotte due to damage suffered from Hurricane Ian at the Charlotte Sports Park, the team confirmed Thursday.
“Following a joint assessment of the damage to Charlotte Sports Park caused by Hurricane Ian, Charlotte County and the Tampa Bay Rays have determined there is not adequate time before the Rays 2023 spring training is scheduled to begin to get the park in suitable condition to host games,” the Rays offered in a statement with Charlotte County.
“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training.”
The team has not yet determined a new location for its upcoming spring training season, but hope to have a location secured within the next few weeks. Tropicana Field, where the team plays regular season games, and a Disney complex formerly used for Atlanta Braves spring training are under consideration, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Charlotte Sports Complex is located in Southwest Florida, about 90 minutes south of the team’s regular season home in St. Petersburg, where some of the greatest effects of Hurricane Ian were felt when it made landfall in Florida in late-September and suffered extensive damage.
The Port Charlotte facility has served the Rays for spring training since 2009, and is used year-round for things like minicamps and league play instruction.
A new facility is also needed to accommodate Grapefruit League games, which are also played in Port Charlotte.