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The Mayor of St. Petersburg unveils his “plan” for the Rays

Aug 31, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

Tropicana Field AP

Remember last week how the Mayor of St. Petereburg was reported to have some mysterious plan to save the Rays and keep them in town?  It was all rather strange, actually, with the mayor playing it close to the vest as if he was guarding the schematics of nuclear warheads or something.  I was excited!

Well, so much for that. Today, in an editorial, he has released his plan.  The short version: “we’re gonna make sure the Rays honor their lease and, if they don’t, we’re gonna make someone reimburse us for it. If they do stay, though, we’re gonna help ’em advertise!” It was filled out with hundreds of empty politician words about “strategic partners” and cooperation between the public-private sectors and blah, blah, blah that stuff is so weightless it ought to be bottled and used to fill balloons at a used car lot.

There’s no plan there. There’s a politician telling voters that he’s not going to give up several million bucks on the next 16 years of the Rays’ lease on Tropicana Field and a lot of rah-rah, it-won’t-be-so-bad rebop.

If I’m the Rays I start doing everything I can to trick the city into defaulting on its obligations under the lease somehow, skip town and then hope I can win the ensuing litigation.  Cynical?  Sure. But it’s a better thought-out plan than the Mayor of St. Petersburg just trotted out.

  1. shaggylocks - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Plan B: Wait for a giant tornado (or hurricane, we’re not picky) to lift up the Trop and drop it in a more strategic location. Hopefully the strong winds will also remove the roof, and if we’re really lucky it’ll crush a wicked witch when it lands.

    • bennoj - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      The Munchkinland Rays? And by ‘wicked witch’ I assume you meant Bud….

  2. aleskel - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    the Mayor might as well have threatened to not return the Rays’ security deposit or replace that leaky gutter

  3. Joe - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Also, since everybody cites the catwalks as part of the problem with the stadium, we will from this point forward refer to them as maintenance access platforms.

  4. FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Remember last week how the Mayor of St. Petereburg was reported to have some mysterious plan

    Like the Cylons?

  5. APBA Guy - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Something tells me the real “secret plan” got blasted when the Mayor started talking to the other local pols. Time for ownership to buy a few additional votes on the council.

  6. indaburg - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    That mayor of St. Pete is an idiot. The Rays will figure out a way to default on the lease, there’s no question. The only questions are: who is going to pay for the new stadium, and where is it going to be?

  7. raysfan1 - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    My personal guess–and guess only–is that eventually a better stadium gets built in Tampa or Orlando. St Pete has a long history of not being willing to raise taxes for minor things like schools (sarcasm) let alone stadia. There’s also really not a better location on that side of the bay. That said, I hope whatever happens is privately financed. Regardless, it’s not something that’s happening tomorrow with the corrent economy. I also don’t see a lot of non-central Florida options.

  8. bsputnik - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Someone really messed up on this stadium design. Considering the building is only twenty years old (+/-) and already obsolete necessitating a new venue…that’s just a waste of money.

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