Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg has issues points of clarification in response to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman’s memo this afternoon on the Rays Stadium Saga, and specifically in regards to the team’s proposal to split time between Tampa Bay and Montreal:
We agree generally with Mayor Kriseman’s characterization of our months of conversations, though we would like to clarify two points. First, we do not agree that this is the best path forward. Second, we asked for the opportunity to explore this concept with both St. Petersburg and Montreal, and with Tampa and Montreal.
We recognize that we must now consider our post-2027 options and all that entails, and we remain steadfast in our belief that the Sister City concept is deserving of serious consideration.
You can read Kriseman’s memorandum from this afternoon here.
With the Mayor’s clarification that the Rays have the freedom to search for any stadium location they’d like, as long as the team does not move until 2028, Sternberg seems to be reminding us of his sincere desire to split the franchise’s home games across two cities, should the Rays remain in Tampa Bay.
By saying “all that entails,” and without cementing the “Sister City” concept as the Rays only desired path moving forward, we also appear to be moving into territory pundits have long anticipated: open season as far as the future home of the Tampa Bay Rays in concerned.
So while it’s tempting to call today’s events the end of the split-city proposal, the “Sister City” concept appears to be not only very much in play (as far as ownership is concerned), but the odds of the Rays leaving Tampa Bay appear to have also risen.