From the owners meetings in Cooperstown comes news that doesn’t have to do with instant replay:
I’m not sure what, exactly, they can do. Short of buying out the Rays’ lease anyway. Which actually may not be the worst idea if the goal is to get them into a new ballpark as soon as possible. No plan along those lines can go forward as long as the lease and the attendant threat of litigation from St. Petersburg regarding the lease is eliminated. Buying the Rays out of the lease would seem like the only way that could work.
As always, though: the devil is in the details. Not that any of those details can be much worse than the Rays playing in Tropicana Field until 2027.
… it’s not paid for, no one has really called for it and neither Major League Baseball nor the Rays have gotten on board either:
Can a St. Petersburg developer save the Tampa Bay Rays for St. Pete? The public will get a chance to see what Darryl LeClair, who developed the Carillon business park, has up his sleeve on Friday.
His proposed Rays stadium in Carillon faces long odds, the biggest hurdle being how to pay for it. Not to mention that the Rays and Major League Baseball haven’t let on whether they’re even interested in his idea.
Yet, you’ll be shocked to learn, that the land developer behind the idea believes that the park, which happens to be on his land, is the best plan to save the Rays.
And, as always, one must ask the developer: if it’s such a good plan, why are you bringing it to the St. Pete city council instead of building the damn thing yourself?
This is random but fun:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna write a post about how we should ban outdoor baseball and make domes standardized. Based on the reception of my DH post, I feel like I have no choice left to go full heel-turn on this stuff.
We heard last week that the Rays and the city of St. Petersburg reached an agreement to allow the team to look for a potential new stadium site in Hillsborough County. It was a tiny victory, but the deal needed to be approved by the St. Petersburg City Council first. That vote happened today, and well, it appears that there’s yet another roadblock:
This vote could have major ramifications, as Rays owner Stu Sternberg has previously said that he would likely sell the team if a new stadium deal is unable to be reached. Of course, that could open up the possibility of the team being moved to a new city. The Rays’ current lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027.
UPDATE: Below is a statement from the Rays.
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg spoke with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times this morning in the wake of the news that the team had reached a deal allowing it to search for a new stadium site in Hillsborough County. The big takeaway: he’s selling the team if he can’t get a new ballpark in the Tampa area.
Specifically, he said that if there is no new stadium in the are he won’t move team out of town, but that he would sell it and the new owner would probably move it:
“The chances of me owning this team in 2023 if we don’t have a new stadium are probably nil. Somebody else will take it and move it. It’s not a threat, just the reality. I won’t be sitting here 10 years from now waiting it out to move the team.”
Sternberg says that he still thinks baseball can work in the Tampa Bay area and that he’s going to try to make it work. But it certainly seems like he is set up to be its last chance there.