READ: The 10 Most Important Tweets from Council Chambers
Of course, that also includes the regional-minded Times editorial board, which ripped off a scolding editorial entitled, "St. Pete's Minor League Council."
But there was a much different tone in the reporting on the issue last night in different outlets (as well as my own, WTSP-TV). The Times' writes:
Council members got their backs up when Rays President Brian Auld refused to yield an iota on development rights on Tropicana Field and other issues.
Council member Darden Rice, who voted for the agreement, said the Rays blew the deal with their presentation.
"I think at one point we had five votes,'' Rice said. "But I was very disappointed by Auld's response to Karl Nurse's question about development rights. It was either tone deafness or arrogance.''
Times columnist John Romano, an ardent supporter of Mayor Kriseman's compromise, picked up on it too, writing St. Pete's city council may have picked up a big "save" for the city:Dudley said he felt like the Rays were making ultimatums. "I don't like arrogance,'' he said."The deal breaker for me was the idea that they want us to abide by the use agreement for redevelopment purposes, where they can benefit,'' Foster said, "but they didn't want to abide by the use agreement'' by staying at the Trop.
The Rays recognize the redevelopment profits are extremely valuable, and that's probably why Auld was so curt when Nurse asked him about it.
But the team also has to realize that council members have a duty to stick up for their residents, and it doesn't look good if the Rays get to leave town early AND pocket serious money in the process.
Here's another way of looking at it:
The Rays are asking the city to get out of the use agreement early so they can move on with their lives.
And yet they seem to be suggesting that they would invoke that same agreement to hold the city hostage when it tries to move on with redevelopment.
Don't panic yet, fans, all is not lost. As I wrote last week, it would either be bad PR or bad business for the Rays not to re-negotiate the sticking points.
I also wrote how the Rays were the ones with the ultimatum of "take it or leave it," and could have easily said they'd continue to compromise on any sticking points. It's not like they were breaking the bank in the initial proposal.
St. Pete councilman Jim Kennedy took it a step further yesterday:
#StPete Councilman Kennedy suggests #StadiumSaga stalemate is of #Rays' own doing. "Self-imposed impasse," he says, critical of team.As the Times' Marc Topkin told my WTSP-TV colleagues this morning, the team will likely take some time to lick its wounds. But there remains opportunity to capitalize on the framework of the negotiated deal.
— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) December 18, 2014
Yes, the Rays will have to address city council's concerns. And yes, it may require them to concede a few million more over the next decade. But if the team really wants this, doesn't it make sense to swallow its pride and re-negotiate?
My pal Jonah Keri made a great point last night about the Rays' desire to look elsewhere:
Up to Rays to incentivize St. Pete to cut 'em loose. City has a lease in place, and leverage, and is wisely using both.
— Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) December 18, 2014