By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Tampa Bay Rays proposed deal to split between Tampa, Florida and Montréal, Canada has ended. While there was some speculation, that few had come to pass..
On Wednesday, the Rays reached an agreement to stay in Florida. The team has agreed to remain at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season.
“Both parties have agreed that the best path forward is to abide by the existing use agreement,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced. “Should the Rays organization wish to continue exploration of the shared season concept with Montreal, that exploration must be limited to the 2028 season and beyond.”
While this agreement means that the team will remain near the Tampa area for the next decade, it doesn’t full guarantee that the team will remain there down the road when this deal expires. The team is already a small market team despite being in Tampa.
There has been speculation that the Rays would depart the area for some time. Stephen Bronfman proposed the split season with Canada.
Under the proposed deal that fell through, the Rays were going to play half of their season in Tampa. Then, the other game of the season, the team would have played in Montréal.
There has not been baseball in Montréal since the 2004 when the Expos last were in existence. In 2005, the old Expos franchise became the Washington Nationals.
In October, the new franchise won their first Championship since moving to Washington, D.C.
“I continue to believe that the Rays organization will come to determine that the Tampa Bay Area, and specifically St. Pete, remains the best place to play baseball 81 days a year and to succeed in the long-term,” Kriseman wrote. “The growth and vibrancy in the Sunshine City, and particularly in the area surrounding Tropicana Field, signals a bright future for that site.