Time could be running out for Rays to flirt with Tampa

The Tampa Bay Rays are running out of time and St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman is playing it coy.

"Truthfully? I'm not surprised, I would have expected some time in December," Kriseman said. 

Kriseman won’t say for sure whether or not he'll grant an extension to a contract that expires at the end of this year that allows the Rays time to come up with funding to build their proposed stadium in Ybor City. 

"First off, they have to ask for [an extension], which hasn't happened yet. And then we need to have a conversation about what would that look like,” Kriseman said. 

The team’s proposed site in Ybor City comes with a price tag of just under $900 million. In a statement, Rays 2020 says they've received interest from two potential large funding partners that would pay for all or some of the ballpark, on top of $160 million already pledged. 

Most of the money has yet to be seen and the team has come under fire for trying to get Hillsborough taxpayers to bear most of the cost. 

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan has reportedly said that a deal with the team wouldn't likely be hammered out until March.

Mayor Kriseman wont say whether he'll ask the team to write a check for an extension, but says they have two plans ready to go -- with or without the team.

“The city of St. Pete is going to be fine either way,” Kriseman insisted. 

The Rays’ funding woes provide hope to Peter Hodgdon who manages Ferg’s Sports Bar across the street from Tropicana Field in St. Pete. 

"Of course we want them to stay here,” Hodgdon said. “We are busier than ever, even when the Rays aren't here."

Mayor Kriseman says he hasn't recently heard from the team, but expects to in the coming days.