Rays: We need out of the Trop - WFLA News Channel 8

Rays: We need out of the Trop

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Rays owner Stu Sternberg speaking to the Pinellas County Commissioners. Photo by Joseph Brown III Rays owner Stu Sternberg speaking to the Pinellas County Commissioners. Photo by Joseph Brown III

The Tampa Bay Rays road series continues. On Tuesday afternoon, team management officials met with the Pinellas County commissioners. Like last week in Hillsborough, they stated their case for a new stadium and cited poor attendance as a prime reason.

"Keeping us basically handcuffed for lack of a better term, to the Trop, not only does it not do anything for us, it's not doing anything for the taxpayers of this county or for the city of St. Pete frankly," said Rays Senior Vice-president Michael Kalt.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said he's protecting the taxpayers who have millions invested in the Trop. He has insisted the Rays adhere to the terms of their contract, which keeps the team playing at the Trop until 2027. He sat in on part of the Tuesday meeting and insists, he's willing to have a face to face discussion with Rays officials.

"I've always been ready willing and able to talk if there's this perception that there won't be movement I think that can only come from his side," said Mayor Foster.

As for the Rays, the Principal owner said he's willing to meet with the Mayor. "I don't have any anticipation of anything coming out of it, but we are probably due for a meeting," said Stuart Sternberg.

Choosing his words carefully, so as not to offend Mayor Foster, the Chairman of the Pinellas County Commissioners offered help to the Rays. "If the mayor comes to a point where he allows you to look in both counties, I would be very supportive of that" said Ken Welch.

Mayor Foster has cleared his schedule this Thursday morning to meet with the Rays officials.  Stuart Sternberg with the Rays would not commit to that day.

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