Hillsborough attorney suggests ways county could talk with Rays07/31/12 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Thursday the Hillsborough County Commission will hear from their legal team whether they can can talk with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Major League team is under a long-term contract with the city of St. Petersburg to rent Tropicana Field, but some politicians in Tampa and Hillsborough County havenâ€™t been shy about their desire to lure the team across the Bay. In April, Commissioner Ken Hagan requested legal guidance from the county attorney whether they could talk with the Rays â€œabout their future goals and intentions,â€ even though the teamâ€™s contract with St. Petersburg appears to forbid that. The Rays have expressed interest in moving to another publicly-funded stadium.
In a letter dated Tuesday the countyâ€™s managing attorney Robert Brazel wrote that exceptions in the lease do not apply to the type of discussions with the Rays that Hagan is proposing. Brazel writes that even though Hillsborough is not a party to the lease, St. Pete could sue for interference. Brazel cautions the Hillsborough commission that â€œdiscussion with the Rays should be limited to the Rays speaking about their intentions and desires as it relates to the current stadium issue and the Raysâ€™ long term plans, goals, and interestsâ€ and the discussion should be during a public meeting.
Read the letter and the agenda item here: