It has now been more than a year since Stuart Sternberg gave his “I have a dream of someday playing in Tampa” speech. And in the twelve months since, there has been nothing but negative reports and more bickering between the Rays and St. Pete and between Tampa and St. Pete.
And in that constantly negative atmosphere, Rays fans will take any news that even resembles good news.
So it is exciting to hear that the Tampa and St. Pete Chambers of Commerce are forming a stadium caucus.
There are some limitations. The two sides will not discuss locations for a potential baseball stadium. However, they will look into how the stadium can be financed.
“We’ve resigned ourselves to we really need a new stadium,” said Chuck Sykes, chairman of the Tampa chamber and co-chair of stadium caucus. “The question is how do you end up paying for this thing?”
It will be interesting to hear the reaction from St. Pete mayor Bill Foster, who has made it clear that he doesn’t want the city of Tampa involved in any discussion on a new Rays stadium.
And no matter what this caucus accomplishes, the Rays will still be tied to their contract with St. Pete. But this could resolve the next biggest hurdle: financing.
Baby steps. But hey, baby steps sure beats the heck out of what we have seen so far.
On a side note. Here is a report by 10 News that looks at a second group that is exploring stadium financing…