Tampa Bay Rays stadium not on Mayor Bill Foster's agenda, but team talking to other groups

1:21 PM, Aug 17, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Frustrated by the lack of progress on the Rays' hunt for a new stadium, city council member Leslie Curran tells 10 News she's anxious to know what the city can do to break the deadlock.  She'll ask Mayor Bill Foster and the city's legal team for an update at Thursday afternoon's council meeting.

Foster, who wouldn't comment on the new agenda item, isn't expected to say much.  The mayor has briefed council members individually on progress and the lack thereof.

Foster has publicly said the city is comfortable with its current use agreement, a seemingly-strong document that binds the Rays to Tropicana Field until 2027.

"My door is open... but right now, (the Rays) haven't approached (long-term talks)," Foster said in March.

It's believed Foster has met with Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg just once since then.

Foster, a lawyer, has been reluctant to give up leverage in the negotiation, making just one major concession: allowing the Rays to explore new stadium sites outside city limits, but within the borders of Pinellas County.

The Rays, meanwhile, have been more forthcoming with a number of other groups working toward a stadium solution.  10 News has confirmed representatives from the team have spoken with the Clutch Hitters, a pro-baseball business group, and a stadium financing caucus put together by the St. Pete Area and Greater Tampa Chambers of Commerce.

While the extent of the conversations is unknown, both groups are encouraging a regional discussion to address the Rays' dissatisfaction with Tropicana Field.

Curran and the St. Petersburg City Council will discuss the stadium stalemate at Thursday's 2 p.m. meeting.

Connect with 10 News reporter Noah Pransky on Twitter at www.twitter.com/noahpransky, Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahpransky, or on his Sports Business blog, Shadow of the Stadium.

Most Watched Videos