ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mayor Rick Kriseman tried to ease the minds of St. Petersburg City Council members as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Field but also said the "clock is ticking" on the team.

Some council members were reportedly told that the Rays are willing to hold up development at the Trop because the mayor is not willing to entertain their split-season idea.

Our partners at the Tampa Bay Times reported that Rays management met with City Council members this week and told them that they're willing to play hardball with any attempts to redevelop the Tropicana site before their contract expires in 2027.

That's the same contract that exclusively binds the Rays to play at the Trop through that time.  

During Wednesday's meeting at the Sunshine Center, Kriseman noted that some of the council members were using talking points from the Rays.

The mayor said that, according to the contract, it would be unreasonable for the Rays to hold up any development as long as it did not affect games.

Council members say they want to make sure the mayor and Rays get it done the right way.

"I'm very concerned that this apparent current stalemate could be bad for the city," said Councilman Darden Rice.

The team has floated the idea of splitting seasons between the Bay and Montreal. The city says the 86-acre Trop site is the most significant land to develop in the entire state and maybe even the country.

"The city's interest in the land lasts forever. The Rays' interest is for seven more years," Kriseman said. "In 2028, the Rays get zero dollars from any redevelopment that occurs on the land, and so the clock is ticking."

Spectrum Bay News 9 reached out Wednesday evening to the Rays, who released this statement: "Time is of the essence, and we appreciate the Council’s time and attention to this matter. Our focus is on the Sister City concept (with Montreal), and we will work with all those who believe it is an idea that merits exploration and consideration."

Kriseman told council members that he can't share anymore information publicly.

Instead, the mayor is going to meet with council members one-on-one to discuss their strategy.