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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor open to Montreal split-city proposal

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With a catch...

According to reporting from the Tampa Bay Times, the Mayor of Tampa Jane Castor is “cpming around” to the possibility of the Tampa Bay Rays splitting their home games with Montreal — so long as the team consolidates it’s resources in Tampa.

“When I first heard of it — just immediately — it’s like ‘that makes no sense.’ But if you look at it from the perspective of baseball, the in-person attendance is dropping nationwide while TV is going up. When people are watching baseball on TV, they could have the two media contracts. And then you don’t have 81 games, which is difficult for even the most hardcore baseball fans to attend. So, you know, let them explore it. It’s something new,” Castor said Wednesday in an interview in her office.

“This right now is just in pencil and notepad stage,” Castor said. “So it’s just going to take so much more negotiating and data crunching and, you know, looking at the possibilities.”

The expectation of consolidated resources was not mapped out in direct quotes, but it’s a logical path to expect in a split-city proposal, and Castor did say...

“I think that clearly, you know, they own the Rowdies so wherever a stadium is built, that both teams would, I think...be a package,” she said.

While this conversation does not include dollars yet — publicly, anyway — it is still a significant development. Castor is one of the highest level political players in the Stadium Saga, and her support for the Montreal Proposal may be enough to make the dominoes start to fall.

Buried in the article was another piece of important news as well: a timeframe. Accoding to Castor the Rays are discussing a 2028 timeline for a new baseball home — which is in line with the use agreement keeping them at Tropicana FIeld — but the stadium could reach completion for other operations by 2025, which may help create leverage in future negotiations as St. Pete looks to re-develop the current stadium site.

Rays News

  • Even with Tampa supportive of a split city concept — and St. Pete not — Rays President Brian Auld is keeping the team’s options open:
  • To which St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman agreed padded his case...
  • Topkin on how the Rays landed Tsutsugo...

ICYMI, Avisail says goodbye...

  • Here are the new hires on the baseball side:
  • The new Solondz podcast as dropped!

Other Links

  • Eric Sogard has landed a solid pay-day, following Avisail to the Brewers.