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Letter: Rays can talk new ballpark — but only for St. Pete location

Tampa Bay RaysSt. Petersburg officials have offered to release the Tampa Bay Rays from a lease clause forbidding discussions of new ballpark with others, but on one condition: talks be limited to a St. Pete location.

The Rays are operating under a Tropicana Field lease that prevents them from talking with other cities about relocation while the lease is in effect. While the Rays have honored that clause, they’ve not been happy about limiting any new-ballpark talks to just St. Pete: they want to include Tampa and other Hillsborough County locations as well.

It’s a tense situation between St. Pete and the Rays: St. Pete has been rather vocal — and rather childish — about holding the Rays to a lease at an inferior location. Though the lease at Tropicana Field runs through 2027, a more relevant date might be 2015, when bonds on the Trop are scheduled to be paid off.

In any case, the Rays aren’t reponding to the city’s offer, which would allow them to speak directly to a developer about a new ballpark at the Carillon Business Park.

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