ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Rays’ proposal to split home games between the Bay Area and Montreal Canada, is a non-starter for St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman.
He doesn’t even consider it to be an option on the table.
The idea of the Rays playing half of their home games at a newly-built stadium, and the other half in Montreal, is also not popular with Rays’ fans. “I just think it doesn’t make any sense. Your home loves you here we want you to stay here” said Laura Cartagena.
And it doesn’t make sense to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “Putting this on the table is just, I believe part of the game but the gamesmanship needs to end,” said Kriseman.
The Mayor plans to hold the Rays to their contract which requiring the team to stay through 2027. “This is just the latest chapter in the book of negotiations,” said Kriseman.
Informed by owner Stu Sternberg of the proposal, for the first time on Thursday, he cannot imagine the 2-city idea, working. “After 12 years of indecision including 3 years of exploring its options throughout the Tampa Bay region, like many in Tampa Bay, I am tired of the games that are being played related to getting a new stadium built,” said Mayor Kriseman.
Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg put out a statement, saying “My priority remains the same. I am committed to keeping baseball in Tampa Bay for generations to come. I believe this concept is worthy of serious exploration.”
Rays fans along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, don’t agree.
“It’s the Tampa Bay Rays. We like to have them here in St. Pete. Brings local business to the area. They just need to stay here” said Jennifer Cole.
The Mayor wonders how the Rays can ask taxpayers or corporate sponsors to kick in dollars for a new stadium for a team that will only be here half of the time.