Rays Can Walk Away From The Trop Rather Cheaply

The Tampa Bay Rays and the city of St. Petersburg have reached an agreement designed to encourage the team to stay in town, while also looking for a place to build a new stadium, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Tampa Bay Rays have reached an agreement to let the team search for new stadium sites in Hillsborough County in exchange for payments to the city if the team leaves before its contract at Tropicana Field expires in 2027. … Payments would be based on how many years would remain on the Trop lease if the Rays left, starting at $4 million a season until December 2018, dropping to $3 million a season from 2019 to 2022 and $2 million from 2023 through 2026.

All told, however, that isn’t a very big number for a MLB franchise. On a day when multiple teams are considering paying one pitcher at least $130 million for seven years, it would cost the Rays just $52 million to walk away from the Trop if they never played another game there.

The City Council may discuss the proposal as soon as Thursday.

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