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Rick Kriseman prepared to hear how Rays feel about offer

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa Bay Rays, silent since the St. Petersburg City Council made a new offer to their lease agreement, plan to speak to mayor Rick Kriseman Thursday.

Perhaps then, we will finally get an indication as to what the team thinks of the Council’s new deal.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Kriseman will meet with team president Brian Auld Thursday. The team has had no reaction to the Council’s offer, which would cost the Rays as much as $16 million more than a deal the team had previously reached with the mayor.

The Rays could reject the deal outright and choose to wait through the upcoming election. They were one council short before.

In a deal drawn up by councilman Jim Kennedy, the Rays would be responsible for a $5 million redevelopment fee for Tropicana Field and $4 million of each year the team has left on its lease. Kriseman had wondered if the Rays would pay more, and thought the council deal might complicate talks.

This was another bad year at the gate for the Rays, who finished last for fourth straight year. This year’s attendance of 1.2 million was down from 1.4 million in the previous season.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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