However, we can always learn something by reading between the lines:
1. Buckhorn on the Stadium Saga timeline
When St. Pete gives the Rays permission to talk new stadium sites in Pinellas & Hillsborough next Thursday, the floodgates will open for anyone looking to sell their dog track, parking lot, or flea market. But Mayor Bob Buckhorn told me yesterday fans shouldn't expect the process to move too quickly:
2. A "transformative" project
Kriseman's confidence in the "transformative" value of redeveloping the Trop speaks to the well-documented advantages of multi-use development versus a simple retail business (MLB) taking up large swaths of valuable land.
3. A "transformative" project (Part II)
Even though Kriseman talks about incorporating a new Rays stadium into new Trop redevelopment plans, his comments seem to indicate that St. Pete's "selling low" on its contract equity is all about removing baseball from the equation. Why? Because there's nothing that's prohibited the city from redeveloping the majority of the Trop's footprint previously. The Rays have actually had financial incentive to help the city redevelop for years, as they retain half the redevelopment revenues for as long as they're at the Trop.
4. The timeline coincides with political calendars...
...and it's probably not coincidental. Kriseman's MOU states the Rays must make a decision on their future - in writing - by January 2019. That should ensure the issue doesn't play prominently when Kriseman and several of his council allies run for re-election in Nov. 2017.
5. Of course, another Times editorial...
...and as predicted, the Times' stadium cheerleading board called it "improved" and urged its' passing. It also tipped its cap to the Rays for not lowering the ~$2M/yr payouts originally offered several years ago, even though the board said "the team could have sought lower payments since another year has ticked off the lease."
However, this blog has dispelled that concept, as the team's offer has basically been the same for six years...all while St. Pete has enjoyed an additional 800+ games at the Trop (with 10,000,000 attendees). So no, the Times has never been correct when it's claimed time and time again that St. Pete was losing leverage by holding firm on its expectations for compensation.
Then again, we once read in the Times the city should expect a nine-figure payout if the Rays were to leave the Trop early, so buyer beware when you read about the Stadium Saga.
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Twitter
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Facebook