Kriseman meets with MLB, MLS in New York City
Mayor Rick Kriseman traveled to New York City Thursday to make his city’s case to keep one major league franchise and bring another to the Sunshine City.
Kriseman met with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber first for about an hour at the commissioner’s office.
They discussed the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ bid to join MLS. Garber, the mayor said, was impressed with the region’s television market and population base. Kriseman emphasized St. Petersburg’s demographics---a city getting younger and more diverse---as a a good fit for MLS, whose fan base skews the same way.
Afterward, Kriseman visited Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred at MLB headquarters to discuss the Tampa Bay Rays ongoing stadium search.
They also talked for about an hour with Kriseman updating Manfred on the city’s redevelopment plans for the 85-acre Tropicana Field site.
Manfred, the mayor said, was impressed with the city’s plan, especially as it shares attributes with the Atlanta Braves new stadium, set to open this spring.
The advantage for St. Petersburg, Kriseman said, was that the Trop offers an urban setting while the Braves’ new digs are in suburban Cobb County.
Manfred “reiterated his commitment to the Tampa Bay region,” Kriseman said.
Kriseman requested both meeting, which he characterized as "very productive."
Tomorrow, Kriseman will pitch the city as a travel destination at the New York Times Travel Show. He’ll also meet with magazine publishers to tout the city.