Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Pete Mayor Says Stadium Talk Hinges on Rays

CLEARWATER, Florida - The ABC Coalition made its first public presentation since concluding its year-long report on how to keep baseball in Tampa Bay long-term, but don't expect the Rays stadium saga to end anytime soon.

The Coalition presented its findings to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) in Pinellas Co. on Tuesday, but the board's comments were limited on the advice of the county attorney.

The City of St. Petersburg, the county's partner in hosting the Rays, sent a letter to a number of parties reminding them that legal action was a possibility if they interferred with the current use agreement, which runs through 2027.

County Commissioner Ken Welch told me the current budget problems will prohibit any entity - not just Pinellas Co. and St. Pete - from building a stadium anytime soon. But he's still confident the team will stay in Pinellas Co., maybe at the Toytown landfill in North St. Pete, an attractive plot of land if environmental concerns can be addressed.

St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster said - contrary to popular opinion - he wasn't ignoring the issue and had reached out the Rays.

For more, including the Rays' response, continue here. And for more background on the Rays' stadium saga, click here.

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