St. Petersburg mayor will continue working with Rays for new stadium

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St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman said Thursday that he will continue to work with the city council and Tampa Bay Rays to keep the franchise in the city.

The Rays' future in St. Petersburg was put in doubt last month after the city council rejected an agreement between Kriseman and the team. 

The agreement, announced on Dec. 8, would have allowed the Rays to explore stadium sites outside St. Petersburg, including downtown Tampa. 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. 

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On Thursday, Kriseman spoke publicly about the situation for the first time since the council's decision. From the Tampa Bay Times:

[T]he mayor told an audience at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club that, although he has no timetable to bring back an agreement to council, he'll continue to work with Rays President Brian Auld.

"We're not always going to see eye-to-eye," Kriseman said. "Hopefully, we don't take it personally. If we lose a vote, we move on."

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Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in December 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