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In an exclusive interview with the Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster now says he is open to the idea of the Tampa Bay Rays exploring a move to Tampa.
There's more than just the obvious that likely changed mayor Foster's thinking. But at last he is acknowledging the big picture, and that's giving the Rays the flexibility to seek a new venue and the area the opportunity to keep the franchise.
Foster was quoted Monday evening as saying, "If your goal is keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa Bay until 2050, you have to let them look in Tampa."
Foster went on to say, "I think there is a big question mark as to whether or not Tampa Bay is a major league region." Suggesting attendance may not improve markedly in Hillsborough County.
Keep in mind, Foster never said it was in the best interest of the team to stay in St. Pete. He was merely protecting the investment made to build the stadium.
His new position leads me to believe that the Rays and the city have come to financial terms, or at least a framework that is acceptable to allow the Rays to look over the bay.
Whatever the case, this is monumental progress, and should keep baseball off our backs for a while.
Read the original Tampa Bay Times article at http://wfts.tv/1csQjlo .