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St. Pete, Tampa Bay Rays Still At Odds Over Stadium Situation

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The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly trying to build a new stadium to upgrade from their current dump, and it’s causing all types of trouble with the city. According to the report, the team wants to build a new park where Tropicana Field currently sits, but it seems the city of St. Pete is a major roadblock.

The mayor of St. Pete says if the team isn’t committing to a full season, then he won’t let the Rays control the majority of that land.

As of today, the Rays intend to play half their “home” games in Montreal, while the rest are played in Tampa.

So the Rays aren’t divorcing their wife into an expansion city like everyone thought they would–they’re just asking for a bit of plastic surgery.

A little touch-up.

Mayor Rick Kriseman said yesterday that he’s already agreed to allow the Rays to build a new stadium, as long as the team stays there full-time:

“I simply cannot allow the city and the community to lose control of the site,” Kriseman said. “My preference is that the city work with the Rays and the developer that I choose on the specifics of a development around a new stadium.”

Rays owner Stu Sternberg fires back

“There were a few proposals. There were discussions. The mayor chose to talk about them in a certain way, and I would disagree that we had that approach. And I know we didn’t, so.”

Kriseman’s term as mayor doesn’t end until the early months of 2022, so waiting him out isn’t exactly an option for the Rays.

One thing is for certain: the mayor of St. Petersburg has a major ego. It’s apparent in the way he speaks. “The developer that I chose” sounds like he wants his fingerprints all over the place, and that’s a tough way to get a deal done.

Regardless, Tropicana Field needs to be blown to the ground immediately, so we can put the American League champion Rays in a park that doesn’t look like a foot. Fingers crossed.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

8 Comments

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  1. One thing I agree with Kriseman on, he can’t let them be a part-time team and have control. A 1/2 St. Pete 1/2 Montreal plan is dumb.

    This battle has been going on for years, the stadium should be on the Tampa side of the Bay if they build a new one. They had a good plan for one a couple years ago, but of course wanted to much money from the city/county.

  2. Seems that Saint Pete has the perfect spot for a new stadium with a retractable roof … right where the dog track is.

    its closer to Tampa and still close to downtown st pete.

    it won’t happen, because … well … its st pete and st pete has a bad attitude …

  3. Put a new stadium in Ybor and be done. St Pete is cool town but the hippies that live there aren’t going to the games so why not move it to the other side of the water closer to Tampa. If they had it in Ybor it would get way more people in the stands in my opinion. I would be way more likely to go for sure.

  4. Hahaha everyone shits on The Trop but c’mon.. It’s hot as balls in the summer with thunderstorms damn near every night. Outdated? Sure. Functional? Yes.

    Few items here;

    1) I thought the Montreal/Tampa half-n-half was just a rumor from a year or 2 ago for the Rays to get some leverage on a new ballpark. Is that in the works again or confirmed?

    2) What happened to stadium plans in Ybor? They had a rendering for it – clear ceiling dome, looked pretty sick.

    3) WTF is Kriseman doing? This is the last opportunity to keep the Rays on the west side of the bay. If you greenlight a new ballpark I would assume the Montreal/Tampa fiasco would go away. What would be the point of building a new park to only play 40 games at it?

    4) The Rays have great management staying competitive by consistently trading all-stars and bringing in solid prospects but Stu is cheap. If they do get a new stadium it’ll be mostly taxpayer funded but I guess he has that leverage.

  5. It’s awful, but here’s what will happen. The Rays will turn it back around on Tampa’s government to build a billion dollar park, and they’ll turn hand the invoice to their tax payers, half of whom couldn’t care less about MLB. Then to top it all off if you’re a tax paying citizen who funded the stadium, and you decide to walk onto the field you paid for to take a look around, you’ll be arrested for trespassing on property you paid for. I’m sure this is precisely what the founding fathers envisioned.

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