An artist's depiction of a Tampa Bay Rays stadium proposal in the Carillon area of Pinellas County.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- The Tampa Bay Rays have responded to St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster's request to discuss a proposed Gateway/Carillon baseball stadium with a counteroffer to amend their (somewhat ironclad) contract.
The Rays simultaneously sent a letter to Hillsborough Commission Chairman Ken Hagan asking to arrange a meeting.
READ: Stu Sternberg's letter to St. Pete Mayor, Council (PDF)
READ: Stu Sternberg's letter to Hillsborough Commission (PDF)
In his letter to St. Petersburg, team owner Stuart Sternberg asks Foster for a number of concessions in the team's use agreement, including lifting the lease's prohibition on negotiations with other municipalities.
In return, Sternberg offers contract language that would prohibit a new agreement elsewhere "until the Rays and the City of St. Petersburg have reached a mutually-acceptable resolution regarding how best to wind down our lease of Tropicana Field."
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"This amendment will allow for a thorough evaluation of sites, in only Pinellas County and Hillsborough County," Sternberg continued in his letter. "It is a responsible process to undertake before any decisions about a new ballpark in the region can be made, collectively, by the Rays, the public, community leaders, and our elected representatives."
In his letter to Hagan, Sternberg states, "we stand ready to meet at your convenience" and implores "joint, collaborative meetings between the Rays and all the Tampa Bay area local governments who wish to ensure the long-term success of Major League Baseball in the bay area."
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