[St. Petersburg Mayor Bill] Foster is so intent on keeping the team in St. Petersburg that he has essentially threatened to sue anyone, including lawmakers in neighboring cities, who speaks to the team about moving elsewhere, citing a clause in the city’s agreement that prohibits tortious interference, or inducements to break a contract. ...
[Hillsborough County commissioner Ken] Hagan and others argue that with fewer than a quarter-million residents, St. Petersburg is too small to be a major league city and does not have the concentration of companies needed to fill premium seats and suites. The population of Hillsborough County, home to Tampa and many of its suburbs, grew 23 percent in the last decade, while Pinellas County, where St. Petersburg is, shrank by half of 1 percent, according to census figures.
Moving the team to Tampa would put the Rays in a downtown hub that could lead to a blossoming of restaurants and shops, an upgrade compared with Tropicana Field, which is surrounded by parking lots, highways and undistinguished neighborhoods. Having the team on the east side of Tampa Bay might also draw fans from as far as Orlando.
Posted: June 13, 2012 at 09:54 PM | 67 comment(s)
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