Foster should propose amending the lease to allow the Rays to study stadium sites in Pinellas and Hillsborough for a limited period. In return, the Rays would pay the city for the opportunity. It's not at all certain where the ideal stadium site would be, given the complications of assembling the land, finding enough parking and exploring funding options. And regardless of the results of a comprehensive look at the market, St. Petersburg would be protected financially. The city would still hold the Trop lease with the Rays that doesn't expire until 2027.One major problem is the assumption that the Rays would be willing to pay St. Pete for the right to study stadium sites in Tampa. The team has made no such public offer yet.
But even more baffling - and hypocritical - is how the Times criticizes Foster for not doing enough to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay - even though their contract extends for 15 more years. Yet, the column acknowledges that St. Petersburg is "protected financially...(by its contract) with the Rays that doesn't expire until 2027."
If the contract protects St. Pete financially until 2027, it prevents the Rays from leaving Tampa Bay - or even talking to other cities - until 2027 too.
So then why does the Times continue to diminish St. Pete's leverage one editorial at a time???