Hillsborough County's biggest pot of money possibly available for a new stadium would be in new rental car taxes, which tend to be easy pills to swallow politically, because they put most of the burden on out-of-towners (even if those visitors have no clue the region has a MLB team).
However, new rental car taxes at Tampa International Airport are currently illegal. So the Rays would need help from the legislature. Which typically requires a little lobbying firepower.
Not to mention, the team could use some help with another legal issue its having with the state.
MLB teams hiring lobbyists is hardly unheard of; several have succeeded in the legislative sausage factory by hiring "governmental relations experts."
So how long before the Rays hire theirs? We'll have some sort of an idea; professional lobbyists in Florida need to register with the state.