St. Petersburg mayor, Rick Kriseman, has officially pulled the split-team proposal between Rays and Montreal off the table.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays and owner Stu Sternberg aren’t happy. Earlier this year a proposal was made to potentially split Ray’s home games between Tropicana Field and Montreal. One that Sternberg and Co quite fancied.
This afternoon, mayor Kriseman decided enough was enough and vetoed the whole thing. A decision that hasn’t sat well with the Rays front office.
“We agree generally with Mayor Kriseman’s characterization of our months of conversations, though we would like to clarify two points. 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 continued. “We recognize that we must now consider our post-2027 options and all that entails, and we remain steadfast in our belief that the Sister City concept is deserving of serious consideration.”
Montreal would need to build a new stadium to host merely 41 games a year. The other 41 would be played here at Tropicana Field.
So now what?
It becomes another waiting game. Worst case scenario? The Rays play out the remaining contract with Tropicana Field through the 2027 season and the team is then either sold or moves…or sold then moves. Losing a professional sports team would not be a positive move for any market. No doubt Kriseman and Sternberg can both agree to that. Can the Rays still find a way to get a new stadium deal done locally? Sure.
But time is running out. The waiting game needs to end.
Someone needs to stand up and make a decision for the benefit of the market, the players, and the fans. Don’t be fooled, there are plenty of loyal Rays fans who would be devastated to see their team move. Unfortunately this isn’t a decision for one person. Stu knows that. Kriseman knows that.
In the meantime…
Get ready for another fun off-season. The Winter Meetings begin on Monday and for three days the MLB world is a crazy, beautiful mess. The Rays will most likely be right in the mix.
Look forward to the 2020 season. A season in which the Rays should be poised to make another post-season run. A season in which another exciting, young team will emerge with higher expectations to meet.
Look forward to those expectations being met. Look forward to another season of Rays baseball – right here under the dome.
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