MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred comments on Rays' new stadium deal

In a press conference this week, Rob Manfred made a statement on the Tampa Bay Rays and the progress with their new stadium deal.
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

During the mid-week series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was at Tropicana Field discussing topics with players on both teams. After the meeting, Tampa Bay Times and Rays beat reporter Marc Topkin revealed that Manfred is confident in the new stadium deal getting done.

The commissioner is refering to the new ballpark in St. Petersburg's Historic Gas Plant District that will cost around $1.3 billion. The team released updated renderings of the ballpark back at the end of May.

The St. Petersburg City Council also had preliminary development vote to move forward with the gas plant district plans and a final vote on the plan is set for July. Following this hearing, Manfred was asked about the plans for the Rays' new ballpark and some good things to say.

"I feel a good deal of confidence that they’re going to be able to get it done ... We think the Tampa Bay region is really important to baseball ... Getting a concrete agreement with respect to what the future of the stadium is going to be is just absolutely top of the list for us."

It seems as if this deal is now very likely to go through, which would remove a ton of pressure off the Tampa Bay Rays organization. This has been an ongoing battle that put the Rays' future in the Tampa Bay area in doubt for quite some time. But now that both the city council of St. Pete and the MLB commissioner seem confident, it seems that professional baseball indeed has a future on Florida's gulf coast.

It is a big relief for Rays fans and the organization as they look to continue bringing competitive baseball to the table without the distraction of a relocation.