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.