ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Months after the Tampa Bay Rays threw a curveball at ongoing stadium negotiations, Mayor Rick Kriseman says the team’s proposal to ‘share’ the season between St. Pete and Montreal just struck out.
In a lengthy statement posted on Facebook, Kriseman says conversations about the Rays' immediate future are finished. The city says the team will stay at least through the current agreement that extends through the 2027 season.
That doesn’t mean the Rays will stay in Tampa Bay forever. The team can continue to explore other options for 2028 and beyond.
“We agree generally with Mayor Kriseman’s characterization of our months of conversations, though we would like to clarify two points," Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg wrote in an email. "First, we do not agree that this is the best path forward. Second, we asked for the opportunity to explore this concept with both St. Petersburg and Montreal, and with Tampa and Montreal."
Sternberg said the Rays recognize they must now consider their post-2027 options.
"...we remain steadfast in our belief that the Sister City concept is deserving of serious consideration," Sternberg said.
Kriseman says, whatever the team’s next move – they’ll have to start making it soon. The city is willing to discuss contributing money for a new stadium in St. Pete – but only for a full-time team. That means if the Rays want a new ballpark in our backyard, a split-season with Montreal be off the table.
If a new St. Pete stadium is what the Rays are really after, it would take several years to complete.
“As the Rays now appear to be shifting their focus to 2028, I want to encourage each of you, and all residents and fans of the team, to continue to focus on the field and cheer for one of baseball’s best teams,” said Mayor Kriseman.
You can read the full statement here:
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