St. Pete council rejects bill to sell Rays the right to think about stadiums

A St. Petersburg city councilmember came up with a novel twist to resolve the Tampa Bay Rays‘ lease battle with the city: Let the team explore stadium sites outside of St. Petersburg in exchange for an annual $1.42 million “exploration fee,” which would be enough to pay that year’s city operating costs on Tropicana Field. Novel, but not successful: The bill was rejected in a 4-4 vote yesterday. (Why does the St. Pete city council have an even number of members, exactly? Is deadlock just one of their quaint local customs?)

One reason the proposal may have failed was the testimony of city attorney John Wolfe, who warned that the amendment could weaken the city’s case if the Rays ever tried to break their lease. But according to Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium, which live-tweeted the council hearing, there were other objections as well:

It looks like Rays owner Stuart Sternberg will next go and testify before the St. Pete council, as he did previously with the Hillsborough and Pinellas county commissions. It’ll be interesting to see if this time he gets some tougher questions from the likes of Danner and Kennedy that make it less of a soapbox for his stadium demands.

One comment on “St. Pete council rejects bill to sell Rays the right to think about stadiums

  1. …”From a city’s point of view, it’s not us that’s unhappy with the current arrangement. It’s the Rays.”…
    “Good cop” Rayz & the”bad cop” commish want to create a mentality of irrational emotional hysteria that they can capitalize on. There’s 15 years left on the lease, there’s no good reason why Sternberg & co. should be handed a “get out of the Trop free” card on a silver platter right now.