One month after saying he would allow the Rays to look in Hillsborough County for potential sites for a new stadium, St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster now appears to be backtracking and he is laying the blame at the feet of Major League Baseball.
Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times obtained a copy of a memo Foster to the St. Pete City Council updating them on the negotiations with the Rays. The content of the memo suggests that the Rays are no closer to working out a deal for a new stadium…
“It has become apparent to me that Major League Baseball has no intention of assisting the city and Rays in reaching a mutually beneficial solution…Nor does Major League Baseball seem interested in a cooperative effort to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay Region for the long term”…Foster told council members he is committed to more talks but “cannot and will not support an outcome that is primarily at the public’s expense.”
According to Puente, the two sides appear to be at odds over how much the Rays would pay to get out of their contract with the city to use Tropicana Field, as well as the cost of tearing The Trop down.
Just last month, Foster told the Tampa Bay Times that “If your goal is keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa Bay until 2050, you have to let them look in Tampa.” But just two weeks later, Bud Selig told the media that MLB plans to intervene and called the stadium situation “troubling.”
The hot topic always seems to center on how to pay for a new stadium. It is clear that this should be the least of anybody’s concerns at this point. Before the Rays can even think about building a new stadium, they have to get out of The Trop and right now the Rays are no closer to seeing that happen.
In other words, the stadium situation is still one gigantic pile of poo and there is very little reason to think the stink is going away anytime soon.