Last week, the city of St. Petersburg threatened to sue any Hillsborough County officials who discuss possible new stadium locations with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cue me banging my head against a wall.
In tomorrow’s Tampa Bay Times, an editorial will run that says St. Pete’s City Hall is stuck in the ’80s when it comes to thinking about baseball.
As a 24-year-old, I don’t remember a heck of a lot from the ’80s so I can’t quite say that St. Pete’s City Hall is stuck in that decade. But I can say that when it comes to thinking about baseball, St. Pete’s City Hall is stuck.
A St. Petersburg resident rescued Tampa’s Republican National Convention with several million dollars. A Tampa resident brought Major League Baseball to St. Petersburg. County commissioners from north Pinellas County helped save St. Petersburg’s new Salvador Dalí Museum. All three statements are true, but the geographic descriptions are beside the point. The reality is that Tampa Bay is one metro area whose success depends on transcending boundaries to promote regional assets.
The Rays are not named after a single city. Our local MLB team takes their name from the body of water that is in between Tampa and St. Petersburg. It’s time to stop letting that body of water act as some sort of dividing line when it comes to a team that could, and should, be looked at as a regional asset.