St. Pete City Council member Karl Nurse: Rays stadium saga more nuanced than expected

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St. Pete City Council is in unanimous agreement – they want to keep the Rays in St. Pete. During a workshop considering various stadium options, the board voted on a resolution declaring their support for keeping Major League Baseball in the city.

That vote, though seemingly insignificant, is intended to send a message to Rays ownership that City Council is willing to work with them. That vote comes after a December 18 meeting where the board rejected a “memorandum of understanding” struck between the mayor and the team that would have allowed the team to search for stadium sites outside of St. Pete.

The move was one of three unanimous agreements made during the workshop scheduled by Chair Charlie Gerdes. The other two votes direct staff to look into how much it would cost to conduct independents economic impact studies showing what would happen to the city’s fiscal interests if the Rays stayed in St. Pete, if they stayed in the area or if they left the region entirely. Another study would evaluate the specific impact of baseball in St. Pete, including whether or not economic impact was a direct result of the team or a redistribution of money that would have been spent elsewhere.

Full story in Thursday’s blog post.