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Tampa Mayor Committed To Keeping Rays In Town

Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn was in attendance at Tropicana Field on Friday, taking batting practice with the team in advance of the series opener against the Mariners. Buckhorn reaffirmed the region's commitment to the Rays, indicating that he'll do everything to ensure they stay in the area. Quotes after the jump:

Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

"I think lot of people care about what happens and a lot of people understand the Rays are a regional asset," Buckhorn said. "We want them to remain the Tampa Bay Rays. We're not going to let that team go to Charlotte or go to Las Vegas or go anywhere else. That is our team and we intend to keep it our team, and however that works and wherever that works out is yet to be determined. But as far as I'm concerned, we're going to do everything we have to protect the viability of this franchise whether it's in St. Petersburg or Tampa."

MLB Commissioner recently called attendance at Tropicana Field "inexcusable," and stated his concern for the fan interest in the region.

For more on the Rays, visit DRaysBay.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.