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Rays have deal to search for new stadium

Agreement set to be considered for approval at Thursday's City Council meeting

SAN DIEGO -- In what appears to be a big step in securing the future of baseball in the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Rays have reached an agreement to let the team search for a new stadium in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Tropicana Field resides in Pinellas County, and Hillsborough County extends as far as roughly 35 miles from the stadium.

In exchange, the Rays would make payments to St. Petersburg if the team leaves Tropicana Field before its contract expires in 2027.

Kriseman wants the City Council to approve the agreement at its meeting on Thursday.

Further details will be made available at a news conference on Tuesday at Tropicana Field, where Kriseman and Rays president Brian Auld are expected to speak.

When asked for a comment about the stadium issue, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg smiled and offered: "We're on the cusp."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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