ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays ownership met with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman for about 90 minutes Tuesday about the proposed split baseball season with the city of Montreal.
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The meeting, originally scheduled to last for about two hours, was held at a makeshift City Hall. Both parties say the meeting went well.
The proposal would mean the Rays play half of their home schedule in St. Petersburg, and the other half in Montreal, the former home of the Expos.
It's an idea loyal Rays fans strongly oppose and that Kriseman initially called silly.
In order to explore the split season idea, the Rays need the city to allow them to open up the use agreement that bounds the team to play its home games at Tropicana Field through 2027.
As Sternberg left the meeting, he said the Rays talked about the Montreal idea but that he did not ask the mayor for permission to break the use agreement.
Sternberg: "We discussed any issues that might be surrounding it."
Reporter: "What do you mean you discussed issues surrounding it? What does that mean?"
Sternberg: "We just talked about the issues in Montreal."
Reporter: "But you didn't ask for permission?"
Sternberg: "No, no, no."
Kriseman has said in the past that if the Rays want to fully fund a new stadium on their own, then he'd be willing to listen.
ABOUT THE MONEY
Spectrum Sports 360 Reporter Katherine Smith says it likely all comes down to money.
"It's always going to be about the money, and it's always going to be about who is going to pay what. How much are the Rays going to put up. And with the Ybor site, we saw that they were only willing to put up about $150 million, and that is not enough to build a new stadium in this area and to get people to come," Smith said.