Curtailing once to the pressure of newspaper editorial boards on the issue of the city's previously-ironclad contract, Kriseman cut a less-than-ideal deal with the Rays to look at possible stadium sites outside city limits. Still, Kriseman is learning: 1) you can’t please everyone…and 2) it’s not easy to preserve the city’s interests and financial equity in MLB (as predicted on this blog two and a half years ago).
Just this past week, Kriseman was hit with a Times article on the slow pace of “Baseball Forever” stadium discussions in St. Pete, a letter from a powerful Pinellas senator who wants to be involved in stadium discussions, then a Times editorial suggesting his administration is bumbling the process in more ways than one.
Look, the Times may be right about Kriseman putting St. Pete’s interests above the region’s, but as Bill Foster always said, the mayor was elected by the people of St. Petersburg to look out for St. Pete tax dollars and interests first. In hindsight, Foster may have actually done a pretty good job preserving the city’s leverage and keeping the Rays in-place for four years.
The Rays and the region have asked St. Pete to make a financial sacrifice to keep the team in the region long-term. Kriseman granted that wish. But he’s going to find it harder and harder as the demands for St. Pete’s sacrifices continue to grow.
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