The Rays and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Tuesday morning they had resolved a full year of negotiations, arriving at a possible agreement for the Rays to explore new Stadium locations outside the city limits, something strictly prohibited by the current lease.
The new deal would allow a Stadium location search without any compensation to the City, and goes even further to lay out costs for terminating the lease agreement at a remarkably low amount, likely $20 million.
Permission to look in Pinellas and Hillsborough County at Stadium locations would, in and of itself, have been an accomplishment, but the addition of a termination agreement is a complicated and critical matter.
The deal must be approved by the City Council, and their next meeting was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, less than three days after the deal was announced.
For that reason, Mayor Rick Kriseman has requested the vote be delayed by one week to allow a more thorough review of the agreement. This request comes after three representatives from the Rays, including President Brian Auld, met with members of the Council to discuss the deal.
"We don't mind waiting another week," Auld told the Tampa Bay Times. "We've been working on this for a very long time. We hope to get to yes when the time comes."
A previous amendment that would have allowed the Rays to investigate new stadium locations for a monetary fee of $1.42 million failed to find Council approval in 2013. The vote on the new deal, including the termination parameters, is scheduled for December 18th.
Rays owner Stu Sternberg recently indicated that if a new stadium deal was not passed, he would sell the franchise, and the Rays would be moving to a new city.