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The Rays' Future In Tampa Bay Remains Murky After Recent Drama Among St. Petersburg Officials

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Tim Fanning
/
WUSF Public Media
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg has been mostly absent from recent discussions about the team's future.

Late May brought a whole new round of tense discussions about the team's future here. Only this time, it mostly involved St. Pete's mayor and the City Council.

This week, we’re talking about the Rays and their future in the Tampa Bay region or elsewhere.

The Rays’ lease on Tropicana Field ends in 2027. Where the team plays after that hasn’t been decided.

Owner Stu Sternberg has come up with a plan to split seasons between Florida and Montreal but minority owners in the team are suing.

Meanwhile, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is moving ahead with plans to redevelop the Tropicana Field site.

RELATED: St. Petersburg Community Leaders Share Optimism And Concern For Tropicana Field Site's Future

First up, host Bradley George talks to John Romano. He’s a sports columnist at the Tampa Bay Times.

Romano believes that the Rays could possibly hold out until late in their lease to figure out the team’s next move.

Later on, George hears from Bill Sutton. Sutton is an emeritus professor in the Sports and Entertainment Management Program at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business.

He spends much of the conversation comparing Rays owner Stu Sternberg to another local sports figure, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.

You can listen to Bradley’s full conversations with Romano and Sutton above by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

I was born and raised in North Carolina, but my career in public radio has taken me all over the Southeast: Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham. Along the way, I’ve reported for NPR, Here and Now, BBC, and The Takeaway. I’ve also done quite a few stories for Marketplace.