Newly anointed St. Petersburg Mayor-Elect Rick Kriseman has spoken out about the Tampa Bay Rays situation, and the highlights, via Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium, are:
- He plans to “get familiar” with the Rays execs in the two months before he takes office.
- “My no. 1 goal is protecting our taxpayers….(the) second thing is, let’s see what’s happened thus far to get us to where we’re at, and what can we do – if anything – to try and make this team successful here?”
- If the team is adamant about leaving St. Pete, he’s open to letting them look for a stadium site in Tampa.
- He hopes to have a resolution to the Rays stadium situation within the next four years.
Add it all up, and you still don’t have an awful lot: Kriseman is willing to talk about letting the Rays out of their lease, but not for free, and he hopes to resolve things during this mayoral term. That’s pretty much what his predecessor Bill Foster said this summer, so the real question remains how much Kriseman will demand in exchange for letting the Rays out of their lease early, and whether Rays owner Stuart Sternberg is willing to pay the tab. Plus, of course, that little matter of how to pay for a brand-new stadium in Tampa. But it’s nice to see that Kriseman at least understands that making the Rays Tampa’s problem could be a not at all bad thing for his city — especially if he can get Sternberg to pay him for doing so.