In Rick Kriseman's defense, he may have had the five votes necessary to pass December's MOU agreement before one councilman asked an insightful question and Rays President Brian Auld gave a less-than-desirable response.
But Kriseman won't make that mistake again. According to Charlie Frago at the Tampa Bay Times, Kriseman is meeting with councilmembers privately to see if his newest compromise will be enough to get five of eight necessary votes:
Kriseman and the Rays have agreed on how development rights — which are shared between the city and the team in the contract for Tropicana Field — would play out if the Rays leave the Trop before the contract's expiration in 2027, Kirby said.
Council member Darden Rice said Kriseman has described the new deal to her.
"Predictably, it clarifies the intention is not to do that (allow the Rays to profit), but that the city couldn't just go ahead with a new project and impede baseball traffic or crimp parking," Rice said.
But it's not apparent that development rights are still the main obstacle.
"If that were the reason, I'm optimistic," council Chairman Charlie Gerdes said. "But then Coach (Bill Dudley) said he wanted a shorter search. That's a new wrinkle to me."
Last week, Dudley told the Times that the team should have 18 months — not three years— to find a new site.
Sternberg also said no Rays officials would be present at the next vote.
Kirby declined to comment when asked if that made Kriseman's task tougher, but Rice said she understood Sternberg's logic.