Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kriseman Comes Face-to-Face with MLB Challenges

On Wednesday, St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster and staff got Mayor-Elect Rick Kriseman up-to-date on a number of pressing issues for the city, including the Rays' Stadium Saga.  But as Mark Puente reports {link to Times' site}, Kriseman said he came away with a "new understanding" of the issues at-play:
"The challenge in going forward with the Rays is significant," Kriseman said in the City Hall lobby. "I knew it was going to be challenging."

When asked if the inside information changed his views on how Foster has handled the Rays, Kriseman said, "It might have."

"It's always interesting to get the other side of the story," he said. "I'm not comfortable answering that until I absorb all the information."
It's generally good news for St. Pete that there's no bad blood between the current mayor and the future mayor.  And while Kriseman said he's reached out to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and hopes to meet with him soon, there's good reason to believe progress could be slow.
Now that he's about to fill Foster's shoes, Kriseman - along with city attorney John Wolfe - is realizing the complexity of the Stadium Saga: he can protect the city's long-term interests and demand the Rays to compensate the city if they leave before 2027...or he can pander to the paper and just allow the Rays to amend the contract.

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