Tampa Bay Times

Stadium talk could affect mayor race


Amid all the buzz about the announceme­nt that Hillsborou­gh County has identified a stadium site in the Ybor City-Channel District area, St. Petersburg political observers are wondering about something else: How will the news affect the white-hot mayor’s race between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker? Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Kriseman supporter, said the news came at a bad time for Kriseman because it puts the issue of the Rays possibly leaving back on voters’ radar. Kriseman, of course, helped arrange the deal that allowed the team to look for a new stadium site in Tampa without violating its contract. Kriseman said he still plans to persuade the team to stay in his city in a new stadium built as part of a redevelopm­ent of the Trop site. Baker said the news from across the bay is proof that Kriseman’s deal with the Rays hurt St. Petersburg’s chances.

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