Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Dec 1, 2022, 5:50 AM | Updated: 8:55 pm
FILE - Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi, front right, is followed onto the field by shortst...

FILE - Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi, front right, is followed onto the field by shortstop Wander Franco prior to a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park, March 22, 2022, in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian. The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”

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Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane