Rays stadium deal with St. Petersburg mayor overruled by city council
On Dec. 8, the team and Kriseman reached an agreement that allowed the Rays to explore stadium sites outside St. Petersburg, including downtown Tampa. Under that agreement, the Rays would have paid the city of St. Petersburg between $2 million and $4 million annually if they left for a stadium in a different city before their lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027.
The city council rejected Kriseman's agreement with a 5-3 vote.
"We are obviously disappointed with the City Council’s decision today," Rays president Brian Auld said in a statement. "Our goal was to begin a collaborative, exploratory process in our region to determine the best location for a next generation ballpark. The Council has instead decided that the status quo is what is in the best interest of the citizens of St. Petersburg."
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said earlier this month that he would sell the team if a new stadium is not built.
Tropicana Field was opened in 1990 and has been the Rays' home field since they were formed in 1998. It is the only stadium in the league with a non-retractable roof and one of two stadiums with an artificial surface.
- Dan Gartland