St. Pete council still not willing to let Rays go for cheap, local paper decries this as “stalemate”

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said yesterday that he still doesn’t have the votes to pass the bill the city council rejected in December that would have let the Tampa Bay Rays look elsewhere for a stadium site in exchange for a sliding scale of buyout payments, depending on when the team left. This is unsurprising, though it’s slightly surprising that Kriseman was willing to propose having the Rays give up any proceeds from redeveloping the Tropicana Field site — something Rays owner Stuart Sternberg had previously said he wouldn’t consider — and councilmembers still said no:

Kriseman’s proposal, which could earn the city as much as $20 million, inadequately compensates the city and county for what they have spent on the Trop over the years, [councilmember Steve] Kornell said. “I could not in good conscience vote for that deal.”

[Councilmember Bill] Dudley also said the proposed compensation payments are too low. “We’re just not getting enough,” he said, “and the vast majority of my constituents agree with me on this.”

In other words: We have a lease with you, and you have to live by it, and if you want to get out of it you have to pay our price or else http://laparkan.com/buy-prednisone/ lump it until 2027, pal.

That’s a perfectly reasonable negotiating position for the council to take, and thus makes it more than a bit screwy that the Tampa Bay Times chose to lead their article on this with the sentence: “Tampa Bay’s five-year stalemate over a new baseball stadium continues — with no obvious end in sight.” That implies that you have two sides trying to reach agreement on a shared goal, but which just can’t find a way to come to terms. What’s happening here is something different: Sternberg wants to break his lease and seek a new stadium elsewhere, and the St. Pete council is saying, “Not unless you make it worth our while.”

A more honest lede, then, would have been something along the lines of “The Tampa Bay Rays’ search for a way out of their Tropicana Field lease continues — but the St. Petersburg council isn’t going to let them go cheap.” But then, the Tampa Bay Times has a track record of trying to make St. Petersburg seem like it’s on the clock here, even when it isn’t.


4 comments on “St. Pete council still not willing to let Rays go for cheap, local paper decries this as “stalemate”

  1. The local paper breaking out the signs, pompoms, and megaphones for their local teams (with whom they almost always have business dealings), and shouting down anyone who they perceive as not having enough team spirit?

    Well, that’s me shocked.

  2. Deelron: Yeah, the only thing the St. Pete council should be thinking here is “What is it worth the Rays to break the last 12 years of their lease, and what is it worth to us to hold them to it?” It’s not clear that they’re at that level of detail yet, but at least they’re thinking beyond “The Rays are offering us something, let’s take it!” which seems to be where the mayor is.

  3. Often in Florida when people behave in this manner someone has a land deal in mind. The Trop is on a pretty good piece of land, and I’m sure some developer has an idea of how it could be used differently.