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Manfred says the Rays need a new ballpark deal soon

Man in shirt and jacket stands in front of Major League Baseball logo on blue background.
Seth Wenig
/
AP
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters following an owners' meeting at MLB headquarters in New York, Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Speaking after an owners' meeting, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said there needs to be a resolution "right now" to stadium situations involving the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to make decisions on a new ballpark soon and hinted strongly that relocation could be a possibility.

Speaking at a news conference following an owners meeting Thursday, Manfred said there needs to be some form of resolution in the Tampa Bay region for the Rays.

“There is urgency with respect to Tampa,” adding that he was focusing on keeping the team in the area, not a specific city and emphasizing the phrase "right now."

Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg expires after the 2027 season.

The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968 and their lease expires after the 2024 season.

RELATED: Black pastors want Welch to reconsider Kriseman's choice to redevelop the Tropicana Field site

Manfred's comments follow those he made in February, in which he said league officials “have a sense of urgency” to find a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays.

As recently as October, Rays officials have said a split-city plan with Montreal was the only viable alternative to keeping the Rays in the greater Tampa Bay region — even just part-time. But Major League Baseball scrapped those plans in January.

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch wants the team to pick between his city or Tampa by June 30, when he's set to announce the future of the Tropicana Field site.

The A’s have proposed a new ballpark and are working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to gain the necessary approvals.

Read the full story from the Associated Press.