Originally Posted by Dr Awesomesauce
Yeah, I'm not sure about that...
Prying the Rays out of Tampa would involve either A) a massive buyout of the county or B) a lawsuit if a buyout can't be arranged.
Expansion is the path of least resistance. And let's not forget about all that money that would go into owners' pockets in expansion fees.
There wouldnt be a lawsuit. The terms of the buyout have already been agreed to if the owner decides to relocate. And the buyout wouldnt be that massive. The city council also voted against exploring options for a new stadium.
The team did negotiate a deal that would see it pay the city should it leave Tropicana Field before 2027 beginning with $4 million per season until December 2018. Those payments would decrease to $3 million per year from 2019-22 and $2 million from 2023-26.
While relocating to another city like Montreal or Charlotte is by no means imminent or a certainty, permanently denying the team permission to explore local stadium sites will mean the end of the Rays in Tampa. A new stadium is not a want but rather a need. Should it become necessary, the team will fill that need elsewhere.
And the Rays are unlikely to wait until 2027 to explore relocation. Unless it has a local deal in place within the next five to seven years, expect the Rays to begin negotiating with a city like Montreal to build a new stadium for the 2028 season. The Rays would then let the city know they intend to move in a few years with the hope of buying the city out in exchange for an early exit ahead of 2027. At that point, it’s more likely the city would accept the deal thereby allowing the Rays to bolt in advance of 2027.
The buyout would be about $25 mil.
Expansion would require a second expansion team because the mlb isnt going to go ahead with 31 teams.