Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers hits a RBI single during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
TAMPA, Florida -- Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commission Chair Ken Hagan are meeting Friday morning.
We expect them to talk about building a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.
This is the first time they've met since St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster made the big announcement that he's okay with the Rays talking to folks in Tampa about moving there.
TIMELINE: Rays' Stadium Saga
The Buckhorn-Hagan meeting will be behind closed doors but they've said they will talk to reporters right afterward to give us all some insight.
They have a major task ahead, trying to replace Tropicana Field with a new ballpark in or around Tampa.
The Rays' contract to play in St. Petersburg ends in 2027. The tough part of getting the team to Hillsborough County after that year or sooner is the money, not the location.
Building a new ballpark is thought to cost around $600 million.
Even if the Rays put up a third of that, there's $400 million that would have to come from somewhere.
Tampa's mayor has said he thinks the city could scrounge up $100 million to contribute, but thanks to the way government bonds work, it looks like only about half of that would be available up front.
So perhaps $350 million is still missing from the Tampa stadium puzzle. And that cost may go up, depending on how many millions the Rays may have to pay the City of St. Pete if the team needs to buy is way out of its contract early.
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says St. Pete's City Council still has to reach an official agreement with the Rays before the team has permission to talk with Tampa officials about moving.
FLASHBACK: Mayors Foster, Buckhorn talk Stadium Saga together (Jan '13)
Foster says he's hoping this new regional dialogue will get a long-term commitment -- what he calls a "generational commitment" -- from the Rays to stay in the Tampa Bay Area.
Tampa Mayor Buckhorn and Hillsborough Commissioner Hagan are set to sit down at Tampa City Hall on Friday morning. I'll be there when they discuss what they talked about at 11 a.m. You can expect full coverage on live 10 News at Noon.