Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hagan, Hillsborough Move Forward with Rays Talks

It may be a long way from affecting the outcome of the Rays' Stadium Saga, but the Hillsborough Co. Commission voted Wednesday to ask its legal counsel if it can speak to the team about the possibilities of a new stadium.

While Commissioner Ken Hagan made new stadium talks one of his campaign promises, it may not get the county very far. St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster told Bay News 9 that Hillsborough Co. lawyers will likely come to the same conclusion the City of St. Pete lawyers did: it's a $100 million mistake for any municipality to "tamper" with the Rays' existing contract.

"I would take it to the (City Council) and ask to sue them, individually," St. Pete's lawyeAlign Leftr, John Wolfe, told the Tampa Bay Times.

Hagan then told the paper that a loophole may exist for the county to speak to the team "about ways to ensure the Rays remain in the region." He added that his concern was diminishing municipal leverage as time goes on.

But Hagan made no mention of the possible diminishing leverage he could be influencing by playing into the Tampa-vs.-St. Pete fight: a tug-of-war the Rays need to push the stadium conversation forward. Because without it, the team is staring at a seemingly-ironclad contract with a seemingly-endless (2027) expiration date.

No comments:

Post a Comment