The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club hosted the mayors of St. Petersburg and Tampa Friday morning at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for a discussion of the “State of the Bay.”
A major theme of the discussion was the strength of the Tampa Bay region, and partnership over competition on planning, economic and transportation issues.
"We can't build more roads, but we certainly have a lot of water," St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said, referencing plans for a ferry pilot project to connect the two cities.
Look at the Bay Area now-- we've created more jobs in 3 of the last 5 years than any region in Florida! pic.twitter.com/HCAyDDLJ0A
— Bob Buckhorn (@BobBuckhorn) January 8, 2016
Among the other questions they were asked is where the best site is for the Tampa Bay Rays to play.
“I have said this consistently, I will continue to say it consistently, I think the location that they are currently on provides them the greatest opportunity for long-term, sustainable success,” Kriseman said.
Word came late Thursday night that Kriseman is proposing a new plan to let the Rays move out of Tropicana Field, which is owned by the city of St. Petersburg.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn wouldn’t weigh in, or advocate for the team to move to his city.
“I have stayed away from this,” Buckhorn said. “I am respectful of your relationship with the Rays. That is a decision you have to resolve between this city and this mayor and the Rays organization.”
Buckhorn also continued to hint that he may be interested in a gubernatorial bid. While he said what he's been done as mayor could be applied at the state level, he told WUSF News he's not ready to decide.
"I think we'll probably travel the state to see whether or not it's a message that works. It really is a tough decision for our family,” said Buckhorn, who has two young daughters. “It's not a decision that I've made yet. But I think I'm going to do everything that I need to do to be able to make that decision, probably two years from now."
Buckhorn is term-limited as mayor of Tampa, with about three years left to serve.