St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman

St. Peterburg mayor Rick Kriseman recently told My Fox Tampa Bay that he still believes his city is the best long-term option for the Tampa Bay Rays, but that if they do decide to leave, he is fine with that happening.

Kriseman was asked how he would respond if the Rays do find a site to build a new stadium across the Bay in Tampa or Hillsborough County.

“I’d say ‘OK’,” said Kriseman. “‘That’s what we agreed on. We’re sorry to see you go. Hate to see you leave St. Pete. But you are a regional asset and we are going to do what we can on our side of the bay to help make sure you’re successful when you move there.'”

Kriseman goes on to explain why he doesn’t believe Tampa is a better option, noting that the “dynamic” of St. Pete is changing with more business and residential property coming to the downtown area. However, Kriseman argues it is better to have the Rays move to Tampa than leave the area entirely.

Still, it is strange to hear a St. Pete mayor suddenly buy into the regional concept of the Rays, a label previous mayors fought as they worked to defend St. Pete’s investment in the Rays.

I’ll leave it to the residents of St. Pete to decide if Kriseman’s view is good or bad for the city. But it does appear that the Rays finally found the St. Pete mayor they have been looking for all along.

FOX 13 News

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5 Comments

  1. doug says:

    The regional concept must be the dominant assumption motivating any solution to the Rays future. If St. Pete council thinks The Rays are an exclusive asset for that City, they should all go to the ophthalmologist asap as they are rapidly losing their vision...or perhaps they never had any vision in the first place? There are six counties surrounding the Bay that benefit from the Rays presence and success...I think the regional planning commission spoke to that fact a couple of years ago...
    Just the thought of incorporating people moving technology into any St. Pete based solution, implies that a degree regional cooperation will be necessary to find the proper solution.. The Rays cannot survive in St. Pete unless more remote parts of the region participate and cooperate in the solution.
    City council needs to get over itself.

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    • Tony says:

      Agreed. In every story I've read, I get the impression that the council has done nothing but stomped their feet at any suggestion, and are "taking their ball and going home". The only way this is going to move forward if all parties work together, and not have that attitude. Otherwise, the area will lose the Rays, and nobody will benefit then.

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      • FortMyersDave says:

        I also agree with Tony's and Doug's statements. I think mayor Kriseman gets it; he does not want to be remembered like Mayor Foster as the one guy who made the Rays leave the area if a new stadium can not get built in either Hillsborough or Pinellas. Not allowing the Rays to look at stadium possibilities outside of St Pete is a sure firer way to feed speculation about Montreal, Vegas, San Antonio, etc.... I can understand the city council wanting some assurances concerning the future of the Trop but by refusing to allow the rays to look at sites in both counties is counterproductive.

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  2. edward williams says:

    The city council sounds like a bunch of cry babies. Instead of trying to help the process they are hurting it, now the rays also have to contribute. It is pretty obvious that the rays want to move across the bay, and I can't blame them, I personally thing that the fairgrounds idea was a good one. The one thing I am trying to figure out is what does the city council think they are going to get if the rays decide to stay until 2027 or they force the issue and make them stay. Once the contract is up the rays can go anywhere they want and the city of st. pete won't get anything except a shell of a stadium, unless I am wrong. So I would think that it would be in the cities best interest to work out a deal with the rays. Hmmmm and I'm not a councilman and I figured that out. lol

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  3. cathy carricato says:

    It took how long to agree on a new plan to rebuild the pier.. but it took no time to say that st pete could not afford a stadium for the rays. It took many years and a lot of blood sweat and tears to land a major league baseball team and you and the city council are just willing to let them walk away. This team deserves better . they go out and put their all into every game they play . what do we do for them let them play in a old staduim and act as if we don t care if they leave our state.mr mayor. you need to swallow your pride let the rays move to tampa where the maryors wants them to stay or build a cheap pier and lets build these guys a new stadium and keep them here.

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