CHAMBER: Rays Up To Speak To City Council

Posted On 04/14/2021 by Matt Lettelleir

On Thursday, the leadership of the Tampa Bay Rays are set to address City Council and provide much needed insight on their ideas for a new stadium to be located within the 86 acres currently known as the Trop Site.

This is an exciting development for our city.

Council Chair Montanari invited the Rays to the table after several City Council members had expressed their desire to hear from the team before moving any further with selecting a developer for the site.

The uncertainty surrounding the future of Major League Baseball in St. Petersburg has had a direct impact on the future of the Trop Site. It’s hard to understand how we can choose a redevelopment without knowing if the team plans to call St. Pete home for decades to come? How can the Rays make a decision about their future without knowing what a partnership with the City and County looks like?

The first step comes Thursday when the public will learn what the Rays are proposing firsthand and get answers to these lingering questions:

  • Why didn’t the Rays submit their proposal through the RFP process?
  • Why didn’t the Rays partner with one of the developers?
  • Is Montreal Sister City Concept still on table?

It is also expected that the Rays proposal may include development of some areas adjacent to the stadium to finance the stadium construction. Other potential sources historically identified include:  Tax Increment Financing, Community Redevelopment Area funds, and Tourist Development Tax (Bed Tax) funds.

The Chamber believes a deal can be made that honors the history and legacy of the site, fulfills the unkept promises made decades ago AND creates an innovative outdoor baseball experience, with its’ multi-million dollar economic impact, in St. Petersburg for decades.

The Rays are the biggest business retention project we all can work on and we are excited with this opportunity for more sunshine on this conversation.

As we approach the critical decisions on the Trop – It is in everyone’s best interest to keep moving forward TOGETHER.

We encourage our Mayor/City Council, County Admin/County Commission and The Rays to come together after today’s presentation to get to work on the details needed to ensure a smart deal for all.

As a community, we have to get this right. The Rays joining the public conversation is a great step in the right direction towards ensuring our City maximizes the potential equitable economic impact of the Trop Site.

Category: Advocacy, Featured