The MLB has declined the Tampa Bay Rays’ proposal for a split season between the Tampa Bay region and Montreal. This plan would have seen the team play out of two different open air stadiums between two cities. Local officials reacted to the news that the deal was dead.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor posted the following message:
“All along our goal has been to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay. We had been working on both sister city and full season proposals, and now we can focus all of our energy on a full season.I am optimistic the Rays will call Tampa Bay home for many years to come.”
Tampa had hoped to land the Rays for a part-time schedule, but now that that is no longer a possibility it seems the mayor is hopeful the Rays will stay in the region, and potentially call the city of Tampa its home. The team’s contract with Tropicana expires after the 2027 season.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch published the following statement:
“We are working with our county partners and City Council to put together the best plan possible, which will work in conjunction with my planned evolution of the Tropicana Field master development proposals. With this collaborative approach, I am confident we can partner with the Tampa Bay Rays to create a new and iconic full-time home for Major League Baseball in St. Petersburg while also achieving historic equitable economic growth.”
The City of St. Pete and the Tampa Bay Rays have had a tense relationship as the team has made moves to split their season. This comes at a time when the city is working on a massive Tropicana Field Site Development plans.
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman offered his own statement following the news:
“I wish I could say the latest development with the Rays was surprising. I have always felt the split-season concept was an idea that faced great challenges. As I have said consistently, I believe St. Pete is a full-time city. Tampa Bay is a full-time region. If we are looking at the future of this team, we have to look at the future of this City and this region, and the future is bright. The possibilities on the Trop Site still make it the best location for a new stadium. So now we look forward…”
Rays Principal Owner Stu Sternberg made the following comments:
“There is virtue in pursuing something you believe in and I am proud of our efforts. I am determined that these years of pursuit and ingenuity will lead to something positive for our organization. Our goal is for the Rays to thrive here in Tampa Bay.”
Would you like to see the Rays play in Ybor City, or somewhere else in the Tampa Bay region?
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