MLB: MAY 11 Angels v RaysA St. Pete City Council member wants to amend the Rays’ contract with the city to allow them to look at potential stadium sites outside of Pinellas County. There is just one small big catch: They want a big check first (via

Councilman Charlie Gerdes proposes amending the contract with the Rays to allow the team to negotiate with developers and other local governments in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties to find a new stadium after paying the city an “exploration” fee [of $1.4 million]… the proposal would not release the Rays from their commitment to play at Tropicana Field through 2027 nor let them negotiate to play at another site sooner. If the Rays found another site, they would still have to then negotiate with the city to break their lease…”It gives them permission to look, not leave,” Gerdes said.

I honestly have no idea what to make of this proposal. On the one hand, it is at least something. At least somebody is doing something. But it also seems just a tad silly to expect the Rays to fork over $1.4 million just to look with no guarantee that they will be able get out of their contract at The Trop. I would be surprised if this goes anywhere. But we always knew people were going to have to get creative. And it looks like some people are finally doing just that.

The city council will discuss the proposal on Thursday.



  1. Don says:

    Good Deal for till you drop Stuie, cost of going to the "mall" $1.4mil about like N.Y. or signing some player we never hear about again

  2. Brianknowsbest says:

    in business, their are silly fees like this all the time when there is potential to make 100 millions of dollars.

    • Brianknowsbest says:

      I wonder if its like a good fatih deposit, and would go back to the builinding of the project if they stay in st pete.

  3. Dave L says:

    This is just another Act in the phony play both sides put on for us in slow-mo over the years.

    The only way the City can make that silly 'not allowed to look' clause work is with the willing full consent of the Rays. Imagine the Rays talking to Hills/Tampa developers then St. Pete suing them. It would be a PR nightmare for the City. I'm no lawyer but all the Rays would have to say is any move made would of course compensate the City for the lease if it came to fruition. In the meantime they stay put.

    I cant see any court awarding damages to a lesee when they are still paying the rent just for exploring options. All they would have to say is that they intend to fully compensate the City should a deal be made.

    But by conceeding to that silly clause, it frees they Rays from making any serious offers to buy out the lease. So both sides benefit from this phony issue.

  4. Ricky C says:

    A fee is what was always going to be required for the ability to "look". Unfortunately the way the lease reads the Rays have to pay the fee to get what they want. What will be interesting is Foster's response.

  5. Nathan says:

    Does anyone know what the Rays actually pay in dollars to lease the Trop?

    • Mike says:

      Not that much. They pay $.50 of each ticket sold into a capital improvement fund, and an extra $.25 for each ticket sold in excess of 3.3 million. The first $250k goes into the capital account, which the Rays are required to use to maintain the Trop (subject to City approval for using the funds), the next $100k goes to the City as rent, and then anything over that would go to the City to repay its Trop related expenses. The City also gets a 50% share of proceeds from naming rights, but only to the extent the proceeds exceed $1.05 million. The club gets the first $800, and then the next $250 go to the capital fund. I think that is about it. The club is also responsible for maintaining the Trop and paying all the bills associated with it.

  6. Beazy says:

    LOL, new flash! They don't need to "shop around", they know what their buying, it's about 15 acres between Channelside plaza, the Forum, the thousands of condos along Channelside dr., and downtown Tampa. Besides, don't let the media fool you, there's a lot more stuff going on behind the scenes that the Rays and Tampa doesn't want anyone to know about. Believe that financial elitist don't let anyone tell them what they can't do, especially small time politicians...

    • Don says:

      NO one is telling Stuie he can't shop, they're telling him to "pay for It"..theres where the "elitist" part doesn't fit..
      and "small-time" keeps getting in the way...
      easy way out Wall street "big time"

      • Beazy says:

        I'm just saying if you think the only things that the Rays & Tampa are doing is whats being reported in the media, your as naive as the rest of them. There's a lot more going on behind the scenes. Let's just say the "shopping", the blueprints, most of the finances, etc. are already done, they just need the approval to come-out-of-the-closet with it...


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