Buckhorn: Rays stadium stalemate "has gone on long enough"
Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn said Friday said he believes the Rays stadium “stalemate has gone on long enough,” admitting the waiting game has been tough because he’s “not a patient guy.”
But Buckhorn has been encouraged there seems to be a growing sense of urgency, and more discussions, between St. Pete and the Rays.
“I get a sense that, perhaps over the summer, there may be some movement,” Buckhorn said after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. “I don’t know what it’ll be. But I think everyone recognizes that the status quo is not an answer.”
Buckhorn made it clear he’s not going to “get in the middle,” saying he respects the position St. Pete mayor Bill Foster is in and how much of an investment the citizens of St. Pete have made to the facility. Foster has said they’ve been trying to find a “middle ground” with the Rays, who have a lease at the Trop until 2027 but want to explore potential stadium sites outside of the city. Buckhorn said there “needs to be options because this is not going until 2027, it’s just not.”
Buckhorn reiterated if Rays are allowed to look elsewhere, “we’ll be ready.”
“We don’t want to lose them,” Buckhorn said. “This is our team. This isn’t Charlotte’s team, this is not Las Vegas’ team, and this team deserves the best efforts to find a way to make sure that they stay.”