ST. PETERSBURG (AP) — The outgoing mayor of St. Petersburg says he doesn’t believe that Major League Baseball wants to stay in Pinellas County or even the Tampa Bay area.

Bill Foster, whose term ends in January, said he was negative about the Tampa Bay Rays’ future, according to the The Tampa Bay Times.

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For years, the Rays have believed the Trop is poorly located and cannot support a long-term winning franchise. The team’s attendance has been so low that other teams subsidize Tampa Bay through revenue sharing.

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Incoming Mayor Rick Kriseman must figure out how to protect St. Petersburg’s financial interests in a baseball stadium it is still paying off, negotiate with a team that wants to explore options beyond Pinellas and also prevent the team from leaving the region altogether.

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