Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 1.31.13 - Anybody seeing Bill Foster changing his mind on the Rays?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 7:43 AM

The Tampa Tribune reports this morning that Hillsborough County Commission chair Ken Hagan would like to get a regional group of local politicians to come together to talk about a possible stadium solution for the Tampa Bay Rays.

This appears to a smart, proactive move by Hagan, but the facts on the ground haven't changed much in the past week since Rays management spoke to both the Hillsborough and Pinellas County governments. The fact is, St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster refuses to allow the Rays to talk to officials in Tampa about a stadium, and his stance hasn't changed at all lately.

That's why it doesn't seem likely that Stu Sternberg will take Foster up on his offer to meet this morning. Should they talk? Yes. But since apparently Sternberg doesn't expect Foster to change his stance, he's concluded it'd be a waste of time.

And frankly, until Foster changes his mind, we really don't see this story changing much over the next few years, except that the heavy hand of Bud Selig may start becoming a bigger factor, especially if Tampa Bay continues to struggle at the box office this season.

Immigration is huge this week, and yesterday local advocates kept up the intensity on the issue in Ybor City.

Meanwhile activists concerned about how the upcoming budget negotiations/sequestration debate may play out for programs they care about, as they told reporters last night in front of Marco Rubio's Tampa office.

And Tampa Democrats Kathy Castor and Mayor Bob Buckhorn express their feelings about the Hillsborough County Commission's vote against a domestic partner registry.

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