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BAY BUZZ: POLITICAL NEWS OF TAMPA BAY

How easy is it for Rays to bail on St. Pete?

If the Rays don't get a new baseball stadium, how easily could they leave town? That question - critical to any negotiations between St. Petersburg and the team - has taken center stage in the city's mayoral race.

Kathleen Ford says the Rays are committed by contract to play at Tropicana Field through 2027. She refuses to even speculate on alternatives.

"I'm more concerned about the local economy and having more officers on the street and decreasing taxes,'' Ford says.

Bill Foster can foresee concrete rising from the ground as early as 2016, when the current bonds expire on Tropicana Field. Yes, the city could try to enforce the Trop agreement until 2027, Foster says, but teams break contracts all the time and no telling how messy a lawsuit could be.

"In the meantime,'' he says, "we would be spending a lot of time and money litigating against one of our partners.''

(Story here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/new-stadium-for-rays-what-the-lease-has-to-say/1037488)

Posted by Times Editor at 02:05:55 PM on September 19, 2009

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