Foster says he's trying to "bridge the gap" with Rays on stadium issue
St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster chatted informally with Rays owner Stuart Sternberg on the field for several minutes before Tuesday's season opener.
Though there's been no major developments in the ongoing stadium issue, Foster said the fact the two sides have been talking - and working towards finding a middle ground - is encouraging.
"We have a very collegial relationship, and we're communicating," Foster said. "So that's a good thing."
Foster and Sternberg met in February, with the mayor saying their staffs have been working together since, trying to "bridge the relations."
Foster has been firm in his commitment to not allow the Rays to look at other stadium sites outside of the city, trying to protect his taxpayers interest with the team's lease at Tropicana Field going to 2027.
But Sternberg appeared optimistic in his pre-game chat with the media, saying he and Foster have been "successful" at opening dialogue.
Foster said they've been talking about finding a middle ground.
"He knows that my objective is to preserve the taxpayers' interest," Foster said. "If there's a middle ground we can find and still do that, we're good."
Foster didn't have any specfics to offer in terms of what "middle ground" might mean, but says it's been a "good offseason."
"What's 'new' is that our staff is talking, we're looking to bridge the gap," Foster said. "And we haven't really done that before. So, yeah, I think there's a lot of new."