Sunday, January 3, 2016

It is time to get the Rays deal done

The Kriseman administration and/or City Council should put a reasonable deal on the table.

St. Petersburg, FL
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
St. Petersburg has been dragging out the Rays stadium issue for far too long. Trying to position the Rays into a deal they simply do not want has caused a lot of unnecessary strife and contention.

It is time for the City to allow the Rays to look in the Bay area for a new stadium site.

Jim, Kennedy's position regarding compensation is a laudable one, but looking at the time frame for a new stadium, wherever the Rays decide to build it and 2027 when the existing lease expires, a big dollar request to the Rays will simply not work.

Here is a recent comment from a reader:

Happy New Year.  Just read in the Trib that the mayor is asking each council rep to meet with the Rays.  Please, please consider just letting the Rays look, as they probably are doing now within a legal framework, and to let the forces that be unfold when they find a place.  There is really no need to set a price for them to break their lease right now, that is putting the cart before the horse.  Market forces will be different when they find a location and if council cannot come up with a fair penalty, then the Courts will, which is what the Rays don't want so the incentive to settle then is strong.  St Pete will be in a rightfully stronger position then.  Please consider and do have a happy new year.  


With the economy booming and local development both residential and commercial exploding throughout the Bay area, owners of currently viable sites may have to think carefully about committing a large parcel of land to a sport that barely draws 14,000 fans to each of its events.

Furthermore, egos aside, getting Hillsborough County and private investors to pony up any significant portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars required to build a stadium may be very difficult.

St. Petersburg has already put the Rays in the unenviable position of coming late to the relocation game. Time is no longer on the Rays side. They need to start the search for a site sooner than later.

The Kriseman administration and/or City Council should put a reasonable deal on the table, allow the Mayor the joy of harvesting "his" new yes vote and get on with it.

There are things much more pressing to deal with in St. Pete.

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