Talks about Rays future in St. Pete between city, MLB - WFLA News Channel 8

Talks about Rays future in St. Pete between city, MLB

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ST PETERSBURG, FL -

The city of St. Petersburg is still in talks with Major League baseball about the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, and things are not looking good with this stadium stalemate.

Mayor Bill Foster wrote a memo to council members saying Major League Baseball is not being cooperative.

READ: St Pete mayor's memo to city council (September 4,2013)

This season, the Tampa Bay Rays have been holding their own in the AL East, sprinting toward the post season.

But they struggle to draw large crowds at home, and it's coming to a head.

The team has a contract with St. Petersburg to play games at Tropicana field through 2027, but team owners have expressed interest in moving the team.

St Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said he has been holding productive talks with the team about exploring other options around Tampa Bay.

But on Wednesday, he updated council members on the talks with Major League Baseball, and things don't look promising.

He wrote- 'Major League Baseball has no intention of assisting the city and Rays in reaching a mutually beneficial solution. Nor does Major League Baseball seem interested in a cooperative effort to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay region for the long term.'

City council member Charlie Gerdes wants to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay area for generations to enjoy, and he thinks Major League Baseball is losing sight of that.

Gerdes said, "That objective I think is getting lost in the near term, and that objective I think is getting lost in the near term problem of low attendance, revenue sharing from the other owners."

Gerdes add, "I think [the Rays' owner] has said publicly, and I take him at his word, he wants to find a way to make it work here. He's going to do everything he can to find a way to make it work here, and when I say ‘here', I mean Tampa Bay."

The Tampa Bay Rays are currently in Anaheim, focused on the pennant race.

The team did release a statement saying, 'It is unfortunate and unproductive in so many ways that Mayor Foster chose now to publicly describe our conversations.'

Mayor foster did not speak to the media on Thursday. In his memo, Mayor Foster said he wants to continue talks to find an outcome that supports not only the team but his city.

Into Thursday night, people responded.

"I think that we are paying the price for what happened in other cities when teams were thinking of leaving and coming to St. Petersburg," said Rich Herrera, a host on 98.7 THE FAN who's covered baseball for years. "I worked at Candlestick Park. I knew how bad Candlestick Park was and I remember the day that the Giants were going to leave to come to St. Petersburg and how much it hurt that community and now you see where they are today."

Herrera doesn't believe the Bay area has hit that sense of urgency yet.

"What Mayor Foster is saying is - yeah true, baseball is looking at the people of the Bay area: 'show me a sense of urgency, show me you want this baseball club," Herrera said. "I think we'll see the Rays stay here. I think cooler heads will prevail, but there's going to be anger along the way. People are going to accuse the Rays of things. They're going to accuse baseball of things. The Rays are going to accuse the city of things and Major League Baseball's going to get upset. But I think eventually we get it done."

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