Three years ago, the mayor of St. Petersburg refused to even let the Rays look in another direction when talking about a new stadium. Now he's changing his tune a bit and letting them go out and explore.
This could mean big news coming for the Tampa Bay Rays when it comes to them getting the new stadium they want. Mayor Bill Foster has told the Tampa Bay Times that he's reached the reluctant conclusion that keeping the team in our area may mean letting them cross the bay to look at other options.
Keep in mind the Rays are under a contract that binds them to Tropicana Field through 2027. But low attendance numbers have Foster rethinking, and apparently making quiet negotiations with the Rays.
He says letting the team explore all options now will better the chances that the Rays stay in the Bay Area for the long haul.
So what does this mean for Hillsborough County? Commissioner Ken Hagan says he's pleased the Rays can start looking. But it is early, and he stressed that the baseball team and the private sector will have to fund the new stadium. So money will be an issue.
It sounds like it's in the early stages. But both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties may start talking and even working together to try and keep the Rays in town and get them in a new stadium, whether it ends up in Tampa or St. Petersburg.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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