St. Pete Mayor Won't Publicly State Where Negotiations Stand With Rays
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman will not publicly state where negotiations stand between the city and the Rays, but he told City Council members that he will "update them in private, individual meetings," according to Josh Solomon of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Kriseman did, however, publicly address the Rays' "recent threat: to stymie development of the 86-acre Tropicana Field so long as they are locked into playing" at the ballpark through '27. Kriseman rejected the team's stance, and said that the city can "move forward on Trop development while the team's future in St. Petersburg remains unsettled." Kriseman: "The use agreement is very clear regarding the rights afforded to each party." Solomon notes any development on the land is "subject to 'reasonable' approval by the club." The Rays have a "legal right to play baseball and to have fans come out to watch." So long as future construction at the Trop site does not impede those endeavors, Kriseman said "denial of approval would be unreasonable" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/31). In Tampa, John Romano writes the Rays and the city administration have "built trenches on either side of Tropicana Field, and are refusing to raise their heads for fear of being Tweeted at." Romano: "They'll say they are being respectful of the process and do not want to negotiate in public. But is it possible they're just worried about looking unreasonable if everyone knew what was being demanded?" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/31).