When St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster asked the Tampa Bay Rays for some feedback on a proposed new stadium in Carillon Business Park, he apparently opened the door for Rays management to look elsewhere for a new ballpark location.
The "Tampa Bay Times" is reporting that the Rays have sent Mayor Foster a letter saying they're interested in looking into the proposal for Carillon -- as long as the city gives them permission to talk to others about a new ballpark in Hillsborough County, too.
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg asks in the letter that St. Pete and the Rays amend their contract which currently ties the Rays to Tropicana Field through 2027.
Up to this point, St. Petersburg has only proposed amending the stadium contract to allow the Rays to talk to CityScape, the developer pitching the idea of a new stadium in Carillon.
Sternberg's letter to Mayor Foster says:
"Since an evaluation of only one site would clearly be an incomplete and inconclusive exercise, the Rays seek to collaborate with interested governmental and private parties to evaluate all potential ballpark sites in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Through this collaboration, we can work constructively to determine the optimal ballpark location and design for our region -- a ballpark that can be a source of pride for generations of Tampa Bay residents."
The letter goes on to say, "You have my assurance that once this amendment is approved, our first call will be to CityScape."
The Times says Mayor Foster declined to comment.