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It's going to be a very long time before the Rays get a new stadium, but yesterday began the first steps in a necessary process. Rays' owner Stuart Sternberg reached out to St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster asking for a few concessions. I'll let Noah Pransky of Shadow of the Stadium give the details:
In a letter, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg asks Foster for a number of concessions in the use agreement, including lifting the lease's prohibition on negotiations with other municipalities. In return, Sternberg offers contract language that would prohibit a new agreement elsewhere "until the Rays and the City of St. Petersburg have reached a mutually-acceptable resolution regarding how best to wind down our lease of Tropicana Field."
"This amendment will allow for a throrough evaluation of sites, in only Pinellas County and Hillsborough County," Sternberg continued in his letter. "It is a responsible process to undertake before any decisions about a new ballpark in the region can be made, collectively, by the Rays, the public, community leaders, and our elected representatives."
The Rays also sent a letter to representatives from Hillsborough County saying they're ready to meet at their convenience.
It's likely going to take a hefty sum for St. Petersburg to allow the Rays out of their lease, which also likely include lengthy negotations.
Meetings will be had soon. Progress is being made, however slow it may be.
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