The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the city of St. Petersburg has released a new proposal for the Rays to get out of their lease so I can stop having nightmares about Tropicana Field and we can all stop having moments like this:
There’s going to be a vote on it next week. Earlier this weekend, I read that a councilmember thought there was going to be a vote on whether or not there was going to be a vote on the proposal. Mayor Kriseman said no. There is just going to be vote. I spared you that report.
The deal would include a $24 million buy-out for the Rays in easy annual payments. If I understand correctly, the entirety of the deal is a $24 million buy-out in easy annual payments, a shiny new stadium, and if they act now, they’ll throw in free shipping and a super duper absorbent shammy cloth. I wonder if they can get a lump sum discount.
The new proposal does have a significant change from previous proposals. No, not the shammy cloth, although those things are great. Reports Charlie Frago of the Times:
Chief among them is a shared account financed by development revenue from the Tropicana Field site.
According to Kriseman, money from developing Tropicana Field’s 85 acres would help finance a new stadium if the Rays chose to stay in St. Peterburg. Why do we finance stadiums for really wealthy people? I don’t know. It’s beyond stupid but that’s what we do apparently. Mom, if every other team does it, why can’t mine?
Another provision is that the Rays won’t be permitted to start looking in the least sexy city in the U.S. according to a highly scientific study, Tampa, for 6 months to allow the city of St. Petersburg time to woo them, because I suppose they haven’t had enough time in the past, oh, I don’t know how many years.
Rays President Brian Auld said of this development, “This agreement creates a positive path forward for both the City and the Rays.” They like it!
Why is this vote different than all the other votes in the past? The election of councilmember Lisa Wheeler-Brown gives Kriseman the majority vote needed to pass the proposal.
This is actually the closest the city and the Rays have come to an agreement. The vote is on January 14th. It is not hyperbole to say the future of the Rays in Tampa Bay is dependent on the outcome of that vote.
Edit: I meant to include a link to the Tampa Bay Times article I sourced: