St. Petersburg Mayor To Sign Agreement To Let Rays Explore Stadium Options

The Tampa Bay Rays are indefinite need of a new stadium. That is in fact, if there going to start in Florida. That's the Rays goal is to remain in or near Tampa. The Rays know in order to fulfill this goal a new stadium is necessary. The Rays have lowest attendance in MLB. Tropicana Field rarely sells out and is full. This is continuing to be a problem. Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster wouldn't cooperate with the Rays in a search for a new stadium. New Mayor Rick Kriesman is doing the opposite. The Rays and the Mayor are close to a deal. This deal will allow the Rays to look for a new stadium in a new location. The problem is not necessarily the Mator it's the contract agreement with Tropicana Field. The Rays would be locked in until 2027 unless the lease is broken. This Bill Foster used to freeze the Rays from looking elsewhere.

Mayor Rick Kriseman said this before he was voted in as Mayor If the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer, then they should be given the opportunity to compensate our city in order to look at other locations in the Tampa Bay area,'' Kriseman said during last year's mayoral campaign. "Throughout the negotiating process I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected."

These terms and conditions haven't been known yet. There's a possibility of changing the buyout and the structure of the Tropicana Feild lease. Either way, in order for the Rays to move they would have to  have money paid per year the Rays aren't using it. The Rays tried to negotiate this price with Bill Foster. Bill Foster and Tampa Bay Rays owner, Stu Sternberg were unable to agree. Therefore, contract talks stalled and the two never went anywhere. The Rays would have to pay to have Tropicana Field torn down because know one will use it. 

Kriseman "would like to get it done within the next month but definitely before Christmas'' so he can bring it to the City Council for approval, Council Chairman Bill Dudley said last week. That's according to the Tampa Bay Times.

These talks with Mayor Rick Kriseman and Stu Sternberg is a great sign. The fact that these two people are even close is a fantastic sign. Kriesman is at least attempting to make things better for the Rays. It's clear he's on their side but feels like the Rays still could and up in St. Petersburg. Maybe after these negotiations are finished the Rays could be planning a new stadium. After that, they'd have to search for a better location. That could be an issue as well if deciding to move to Tampa or not. 

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