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.
- Even with Tampa supportive of a split city concept — and St. Pete not — Rays President Brian Auld is keeping the team’s options open:
#Rays Prez. Brian Auld tells @stpetecatalyst: “Given that we continue to believe the Tropicana Filed site is a very viable site for the team, we don’t want to hamstring our ability to make it a great home for us down the road.”https://t.co/XaBo1uu4wA— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) December 18, 2019
- To which St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman agreed padded his case...
Great site. Easy access. New development, hotels, office popping up all around it. Bus rapid transit from downtown to beaches on horizon. #SunShinesHere https://t.co/dX58jaAUvR— Rick Kriseman (@Kriseman) December 18, 2019
- Topkin on how the Rays landed Tsutsugo...
#Rays lunchtime read:— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 18, 2019
Years of scouting, a secret Calif. meeting facilitated by #Rockies star Arenado, a Japanese acupuncturist, a dossier, passionate words from Cash helped land Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, from @ydb_yokohama Here’s how: https://t.co/HibJmJZbbc
- Rays Colored Glasses looks at the price of Puig now that Avisail Garcia sought the three-year, $10 million AAV deal he was looking for.
- Jeremy Hellickson sighting!!!
Which pitcher had the best rookie year of the decade? pic.twitter.com/gRTOb4yTpw— MLB (@MLB) December 19, 2019
ICYMI, Avisail says goodbye...
From now #Brewers/former #Rays OF Avisail Garcia: pic.twitter.com/LomccXvOuw— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 18, 2019
- Here are the new hires on the baseball side:
#Rays new minor-league coordinator hires include Chris Prieto (OF/baserunning) and Rolando Garza (pitching), and previously reported Greg Brown (hitting). Also promoted to coordinator roles Dan DeMent (hitting) and Alejandro Freire (field, replacing Albernaz)— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 18, 2019
- The new Solondz podcast as dropped!
Our latest This Week in @RaysBaseball w/ @neilsolondz features Yoshi Tsutsugo, #Rays manager Kevin Cash, @TBTimes_Rays & director of pro scouting Kevin Ibach: https://t.co/iLRzZcGnGYhttps://t.co/kSBaWt7guUhttps://t.co/AGZSUstxR2— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) December 18, 2019
- MLB’s 10-year deal with Nike and Fanatics is worth more than $1 billion, and if you’re looking for a positive on the swoosh addition, Yankees fans hate it.
- Sam Miller wrote on the three-batter rule change and what it means for the sport, as did Fangraphs
- Gerrit Cole was introduced by the Yankees, and brought with him a sign he made as a child reading: YANKEE FAN TODAY TOMORROW FOREVER
As an 11-year-old, @GerritCole45 brought a @Yankees sign to Game 6 of the 2001 World Series in Arizona. Today, as a 29-year-old, he brought that same sign – a little faded – to his introductory press conference in New York. pic.twitter.com/jHpTwLYQaF— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) December 18, 2019
- Eric Sogard has landed a solid pay-day, following Avisail to the Brewers.
Free-agent infielder Eric Sogard in agreement with #Brewers, source tells The Athletic. Believed to be one-year deal with club option for 2021. Pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 18, 2019