Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Rick Kriseman and Rays president to meet Thursday to discuss future at Trop

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman will meet with Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld on Thursday to get the team's reaction to a plan approved last week by the City Council.

Kriseman and Auld will meet at the Rays front offices at Tropicana Field at 4 p.m., according to chief of staff Kevin King.

No one else will be at the meeting, King said.

The two also spoke by phone on Monday. Auld said he preferred to keep the details of the phone conversation private. King said that call was only to schedule a date to meet in person.

Council member Jim Kennedy's plan will be the only topic discussed, King said. Last week, Kennedy's proposal won council approval by a 5-3 vote. His plan calls for the Rays to pay $33 million to the city if the team leaves Tropicana Field for Hillsborough County by 2020. If the Rays stay in Pinellas County, the team would pay half that amount. They wouldn't pay anything if the team stays in St. Petersburg.

"The mayor's not gotten a reaction to Kennedy's plan, so he will basically listen right now to their thoughts on that proposal," King said.

Kriseman didn't seem too excited about Kennedy's proposal last week, saying that the Rays have consistently said they won't pay more than the $17 million they agreed on with the mayor last year. The council voted down that agreement twice.

Does Kriseman have any new ideas of his own?

"Not that he's sharing on Thursday," King said. "He's got ideas, but on Thursday he's focused on Jim Kennedy's plan and taking one step at a time. We'll take it from there depending on what happens."

Contact Charlie Frago at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. [email protected]

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