Mayor Rick Kriseman said he’s in the process of scheduling additional meetings with the leadership of the Tampa Bay Rays, to discuss the Major League Baseball team and its future in St. Petersburg.
“We started the communications and conversation and talking about how we got to where we’re at and talking about what we need to do to go forward,” Kriseman said about the 90-minute meeting he held Tuesday afternoon with Stu Stermberg, the Rays’ principal owner, and team presidents Brian Auld and Matt Silverman.
It was the first meeting since the Rays said they were exploring the idea of splitting the team’s season between St. Petersburg and Montreal. Specifics about that plan were not part of Tuesday’s discussion, Kriseman said in brief comments Wednesday morning after a news conference on housing.
The St. Pete Catalyst asked Kriseman about a time frame for future talks.
“None yet, certainly we don’t want months to go by or weeks to go by. We’re going to try to do something, initiate the discussions relatively quickly,” he said.
The Rays have not officially commented on the Tuesday talks, but Sternberg told ABC Action News that the meeting went “very well.”
Kriseman previously has said the city will move forward with a redevelopment plan for the Tropicana Field site, with or without the Rays and a baseball stadium. That’s one of the high priorities for his administration. So is creating more housing that’s affordable. On the heels of his announcement Wednesday about a 10-year plan to address housing affordability in St. Pete, the Catalyst asked how the Trop site might fit into that plan.
“Certainly we own the land and that gives us an opportunity to make sure that we have a good mix of housing on that site. I think it gives us a great opportunity to address some of our needs,” Kriseman said.