- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

St. Petersburg, Florida is no longer negotiating with the Tampa Bay Rays over the idea of the team splitting their home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal.

The idea, which became known as the “shared season” proposal, first became public in June. Rays owner Stu Sternberg tried to pitch the idea, saying at the time, “This is not a staged exit. This is about Tampa Bay keeping its hometown team and Montreal having one, too. I believe strongly in the sister-city concept.”

But the idea would have been the first of its kind in the modern sports landscape and never seemed like a legitimate possibility.

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At issue is the Rays’ long-term viability in the Tampa Bay area, where they have had some of Major League Baseball’s worst attendance numbers while playing at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

The team has a lease with the city that runs through 2027. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said the team is free to explore a “shared season” concept with two cities after 2027.

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