"I'm optimistic," Auld said. "I think that things are going very well with (St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman). I think we're having productive talks. And I really look forward to seeing what the future brings.Topkin reports the Rays and St. Pete are still hopeful for an amendment worked out before the end of the year, but its curious why all talk has been about location...and so little about the more important issue - financing.
"Obviously, we need to figure it out, and we understand that, I think our incentives and the community's incentives are perfectly aligned. Now figuring out exactly what that is and where the stadium should go is very challenging. But it needs to go in the best place for the Rays and it needs to go in the best place for the community."
Auld said in his previous role as senior vice president of business operations he had "ridden side-car" on the stadium issue and felt he was "up to speed" but also would rely heavily on Melanie Lenz, the vice president of development who took over much of the stadium project when Michael Kalt departed in January for private business. Auld also said he would consult frequently with principal owner Stuart Sternberg.