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Council, Mayor talk Rays | News

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Council, Mayor talk Rays

St. Petersburg, Florida - The Rays season may be over, but discussion on how to keep the team in town keeps going on and on.

But if anyone came to Thursday's workshop at city hall expecting to hear Mayor Foster's plan for keeping the Rays in town, they left some two hours later frustrated.

Council member Leslie Curran wanted more detail from the Mayor.

"It goes back to-there's a plan, there's not a plan, there might be a plan, a private groups working on the plan-but I'm not doing anything," she said, clearly irritated.

What council members did get from city staff was a history of baseball in the city and an overview of the Use Agreement that ties the team to Tropicana Field through the 2027 season.

And what Foster did do is stick to his position: Yes, he wants the Rays to stay in town. Yes, the city has plans for any "what-if" scenarios, but he won't reveal the details, because of legal concerns. Yes, he's willing to talk with the Rays about a new stadium, but only if the team stays in Pinellas.

But with the Rays unwilling to sit down under those terms, that's left St. Pete a wall flower at the dance. "We can dance," says Foster. "I don't care if we lead; I don't care if we follow-it takes two to dance."

And while some council members criticize Foster's approach, the Mayor's confident he's doing the right thing by taxpayers.

"There's 16 years left on an agreement, there are hundreds of millions of dollars invested by the citizens of St. Pete and Pinellas County-that will not be ignored," Foster told reporters after the meeting.

So what's the next move in what the Mayor calls a baseball dance? Well, Foster says he's pretty confident that sometime during the off season he'll have a face-to-face meeting with Rays owner Stu Sternberg--so cue the music.


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