I would liike to see MLB buy out the TB lease of the Trop. Use some sort of borrowing or stadium fund. My guess is that St Pete or the county could use an up front payment of a lot of bucks rather than stretched out payments through 2027.http://floridaindependent.com/8905/amid-debate-over-tampa-bay-rays-future-in-st-pete-players-complain-about-low-fan-turnout
The statements by Price and Longoria about the Rays’ attendance woes are the first since the team’s owner, Stuart Sternberg, announced this summer that his club was no longer financially viable at Tropicana. He also vowed to search for stadium sites outside the City of St. Petersburg, with which the team has a lease till 2027.
Sternberg’s statements set off a political firestorm, with St. Petersburg officials firing back with plans to enforce the lease, which includes a clause that states the Rays cannot negotiate with any entity other than the city about possible stadium sites.
This is also a nice article about the lease situation.http://floridaindependent.com/2773/law-professor-st-pete-in-strong-position-should-city-rays-dispute-go-to-court
From a Nats perspective, I suppose we would want the city to be able to enforce the deal with the Rays, much like Minnesota used its leverage to stop contraction. From a baseball fan perspective, I think it is a problem for MLB to have one of its best teams incapable of sustaining itself.
It's interesting, though, that with a proper location and more contemporary facility, the studies seem to support the Ray's viability in the Tampa Bay region, if not the current location and venue. some sort of large cash payment up front, plus a commitment to stay in the area for 20 or so more years, ought to get a deal done.