The Downtown Partnership issued the following statement on June 25, 2019.
The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership values the Tampa Bay Rays. We recognize the contributions our Major League team makes to the economy and cultural life of our city. Baseball is part of our history and identity. We want the Rays to stay in St. Petersburg.
The idea of splitting home games between Montreal and St. Petersburg is unconventional and still in an investigational stage. There are logistical questions about the impact on players, owners, sponsors and fans. There are also important questions about what this proposal means for our city, our economy and the redevelopment of Tropicana Field. We all have a stake in how these questions are answered. The community deserves to see a full proposal as soon as possible.
In many ways, this challenge is bigger than St. Petersburg or even Tampa Bay. Other MLB teams also struggle with attendance as baseball’s fan base continues to evolve. It is important to understand baseball’s long-term attendance trajectory as we plan our own future.
The Downtown Partnership has been a long-time advocate for economic growth in our urban center and the Rays are an important part of our urban economy. We pledge our continued support for facilitated conversations and creative strategies to keep baseball part of our economy and identity.