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Politics / Issues

Hillsborough County Leaders Embrace Rays Split-Season Plan

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is arm in arm with Rays Mascot Raymond at a watch party
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor roots on the Tampa Bay Rays with mascot Raymond at a watch party during the 2019 Rays-Astros playoff series. JANE CASTOR/CITY OF TAMPA VIA TWITTER

Tampa's mayor and a county commissioner say Hillsborough County wants to be part of the Tampa Bay Rays' plan to split seasons between Florida and Montreal.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported on the Monday meeting between Rays owner Stu Sternberg, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, and Hillsborough County commissioner Ken Hagan.

Hagan previously led a failed effort to build a new baseball stadium in Ybor City.

In a statement, the Rays called the meeting a "meaningful step" in keeping the team in the Tampa Bay region after 2027, when its lease on Tropicana Field expires.

Sternberg's plan would have the Rays spend half a season in Florida and half in Montreal. 

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman wants the team to stay in Pinellas County - full-time. He declined to comment on Monday's meeting.