In a unanimous vote, the Pinellas County Commission decided in favor of a meeting with the Tampa Bay Rays and the city of St Pete to talk about the future needs of the team.
It comes the week after the same decision was made in Hillsborough County. Some commissioners there consider this development a move in the right direction, no matter where you live.
"I'm delighted to hear that Pinellas County Commission is going to step to the plate. This is the kind of leadership that we need to ensure that the Rays remain in the Tampa Bay region," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan.
With two counties at bat, both have meetings on the books with the Rays to potentially discuss the possibility of a new stadium in a new location.
"I think the action that the Hillsborough County Commission took last week kind of led the way," Hagan said.
But what about the legal risk? The team is bound by contract with the city of St Petersburg to play at Tropicana Field until 2027. St Pete city officials have hinted they intend to sue. And they could for intentional interference, but only if it goes beyond talking.
"I'm very pleased that the Pinellas County Commission agrees with the action that we took and believes that there is nothing improper, there's no legal risk to sitting down and having a dialogue with the Rays and find out what their long term goals and interest are," Hagan said.
For some fans, the idea of Rays baseball anywhere but St Pete is a strike out.
"Where would you even think about moving it? Tampa? C'mon, St. Pete, Rays – that's what it's for. C'mon," said Rachel Quirell.
A meeting between the Rays and Pinellas County could lead to some other potential locations.
"If they have to move it, maybe up to Clearwater right up the interstate," John Lord said. "I'd hate to see it move up to Tampa."
"I think that's ridiculous. I've been to several Bucs games and it has not ever been filled. And we have not moved them over here yet to St. Pete," said Debra West.
For now, all this talk is just talk.
"It just builds upon all of our efforts to ensure that the Rays remain in the Tampa Bay region," Hagan said.
Predicting the future for the Trop and the Rays is as difficult as predicting the scores of their games. But these meetings will certainly keep the conversation going and fans guessing what's to come for the team.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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