Hillsborough and Rays plan stadium talks, St. Pete threatens lawsuit, oh boy oh boy

There hasn’t been all that much action in the Tampa Bay Rays stadium standoff of late — that’s why they call them “standoffs” — but after today, it is on! This morning, commissioners in Hillsborough County voted to extend an offer to talk about building a stadium in Tampa for the Rays, after lawyers advised them that they were fine to do this since the team’s lease clause prohibiting talks with other cities only applied to the team, not the other cities, since only the team is a signatory to the lease.

Still with me? Good. Because next thing, the Rays — who are a signatory to the lease, as you’ll remember from last sentence — said okay, they’d agree to talk to Hillsborough County. And then St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster was all “Oh, I’m totally gonna sue you guys” and now everybody’s going to have to go to court with lawyers and stuff and everything!

It looks like nothing’s going to happen until after the season, which gives everybody plenty of time to marshal their lawyers and figure out whether the Rays are really prohibited from even talking to other cities while their St. Pete lease is in force, or whether just looking is okay. But it looks like if nothing else, both Hillsborough and the Rays have decided that it’s time to test that in court, which means odds are there’s gonna be a gumfight.

4 comments on “Hillsborough and Rays plan stadium talks, St. Pete threatens lawsuit, oh boy oh boy

  1. So the county is apparently willing to get into a legal battle for the right to give a ton of money to a team with a history of underachieving attendance-wise – even after allowing for the place they play – and after seeing the less-than-stellar numbers in the new ballpark downstate.

    Makes sense to me.

  2. That’s some good stuff. I love the middle-school perspective. I live in and love St. Pete, I am a less than average fan of the Rays/baseball, and all I want is that the City doesn’t get screwed, AGAIN. I think MLB and professional sports teams are a better fit in Tampa. That’s where all the prostitution, corporate or otherwise, is anyway.

  3. I have to give Mayor Foster a little applause for not (yet) getting worked over like his counterpart in Miami; he’s bringing up my impression of the state a bit (still long way to go). How can those who made the decisions for Miami still have jobs? And has anybody on the Hillsborough County Commission indicated why they want this, other than “I might get good tickets?”

  4. Well, not everybody in Miami still has jobs: