SUNSHINE STATER: Rick Nafe spent 23 years operating Tropicana Field, home of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays. (Courtesy Rick Nafe) Charismatic Rick Nafe tackled just about every kind of situation in his 40 years of running sports venues in Tampa-St. Petersburg  Rick Nafe typically issues a warning to first-time attendees of the Stadium Managers Association’s annual seminar: Those caught wearing a necktie are in danger of having it cut in two.  It’s a playful threat, but it sends a message to members of the trade group that they can ditch the workplace suit and tie for a more casual atmosphere at SMA. For Nafe, the association’s longtime chairman, the suits are now permanently stored in his closet. The 67-year-old Miami native retired earlier this year after close to 40 years running sports venues in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Twenty-three years were spent running Tropicana Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s […]
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