Rays to meet with Pinellas County Commission today

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Last week Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told the Hillsborough County Commission that Major League Baseball no longer views St. Petersburg or the Tampa Bay area as a viable option for the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Today, Sternberg and the Rays organization will meet with the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners to discuss the future of the Rays in St. Pete, Pinellas County and Tampa Bay, reports William Mansell of Patch. 

The Rays presentation is slated to begin at 2 p.m. to kick off the meeting.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can watch online here. You can also watch the meeting live on Pinellas County Connection Television, which is channel 622 on Bright House, 18 on Knology and 44 on Verizon.

During the Jan. 24 meeting with Hillsborough Commissioners, Sternberg said, according to the Tampa Bay Times, that he wants the team to remain in the region, but “Major League Baseball at this point no longer believes in the Tampa Bay area.”

MLB responded to Sternberg’s comments saying, “The Commissioner has had conversations with Stuart Sternberg and is disappointed with the current situation in the Tampa Bay market.”

St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster and the city of St. Petersburg have taken a hard stance with the Rays and said it would be a breach on contract for the team to explore building a new Rays stadium outside of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Gateway area. 

In September, developers Darryl LeClair and CityScape presented at plan to build at 35,000 seat stadium in the Gateway area of St. Pete to be called the ‘Rays Park at Carillon.

The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field runs through 2027. Foster has continued to say in fairness to the taxpayers that paid for the stadium, the Rays are obligated to remain in St. Pete throughout the duration of the lease.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.