In case you missed, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster responded on Friday to Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg’s request to look at sites outside of St. Pete for a new stadium, and as expected, the answer was “nuh-uh”:
In a letter to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, Foster said the only way to preserve the city’s interests is not to let the team look for stadiums outside St. Petersburg or the Pinellas Gateway area.
The Rays, which Foster called a “source of great civic pride,” have a written agreement to play 1,215 more regular season games at Tropicana Field. Besides offering the excitement of baseball, the team is an employer, economic driver and a tourist draw for the city, Foster wrote.
“Make no mistake,” Foster said, “this is not about money, and the city has absolutely no interest in winding down our relationship prior to 2027.”
This could go on forever. (Actually, it kind of seems like it already has.) The one thing new is that a couple of local columnists are now actually taking Foster’s side in all this, but it’s going to take more than that to get Sternberg to back down in this staring contest. Especially when Foster is up for re-election next year. If you cannot defeat your enemy, you can always hope to outlast him.