Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist has proposed relocating the Port of Tampa's cruise ship business to Pinellas County to accommodate the newer, larger ships that cannot pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In return, Crist suggests, St. Petersburg could give up its efforts to keep the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field and allow the team to relocate in Tampa. While the idea reflects thinking outside the box, ports and stadiums should not be traded like baseball cards. They are regional assets, and their locations should be determined by what makes the most sense for success and the entire area.
Still, Crist may be on to something. There could be other items of interest between Tampa and St. Petersburg that could be put on the trading block.
Would St. Petersburg trade the annual Honda Grand Prix race for Tampa's monster truck events? U.S. 19 in Pinellas for Dale Mabry Highway in Hillsborough could be an interesting trade. And what could be a fairer swap of surrealism than Tampa's Gasparilla Parade for St. Petersburg's Salvador Dalí Museum?
All good horse dickering should have something for both parties. Surely Tampa could trade a few food trucks to St. Petersburg — for an inverted pier to be named later?