(Sheila Thorne) doesn't want the team moving to a new stadium in Hillsborough County. But more than anything, she hates discord between her city and her team.
"The Rays did sign a contract,'' to play at the Trop through 2027, Thorne said, "but I sure as blazes am not going to hold them back from going to Tampa. I am proud to have the Rays be our team in the Tampa Bay area. Why did we come to this conflict of everybody being unhappy? It's defeating the purpose."
The Rays have declined to comment, but Rick Kriseman, Foster's opponent in Tuesday's mayoral election, accused the mayor of not being candid.There really don't appear to be any big differences between what Kriseman says he'll do if elected and what Foster has done - except perhaps temperment. Both men are lawyers; both say they'll try to boost attendance at the Trop; and both insist the Rays need to pay the city to break/amend their contract (although the Trib reports at least one council member thinks Kriseman's price might be lower than Foster's).
"I have talked to (Rays president) Matt Silverman and I was told that the allegation is not true — that the Rays weren't offering anything,'' Kriseman said. "They expressed concerns about how forthright the mayor is being with them and the community on this issue.''
But either way, a Kriseman victory on Nov. 5 might not change the dynamic of the Stadium Saga very much at all.
In the poll, 38 percent of respondents would let the team look in Hillsborough — but only after the Rays and city negotiate some financial compensation. Ten percent of respondents would allow a Hillsborough search without preconditions.The fact that African-Americans oppose a move could be attributed to any number of factors, but there's a good chance some of the opposition stems from all the failed promises (better jobs, urban renewal, etc) the city made the black community in the 1980s when the stadium displaced so many from their homes.
Almost 4 in 10 said the Rays should stay at the Trop, period. African-American residents, in particular, felt this way, opposing any Tampa forays 52-35 percent.