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Breaking Ground: Rays New Stadium Deal

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Rays New Stadium Deal is done. Anticipation builds as the Rays are set to reveal significant details this Tuesday about the long-awaited new stadium situated in downtown St. Petersburg. Slated to be a cornerstone in the transformation of the 86-acre Historic Gas Plant District, the stadium is designed to bring a fresh vibrancy to the vicinity, resurrecting it on the foundations of the present Tropicana Field site.

First reported by the Tampa Bay Times

Rays New Stadium Deal with the opening envisaged for the 2028 season, early indications suggest that the avant-garde structure will showcase a fixed dome roof and a state-of-the-art artificial turf field. The coliseum aims to accommodate around 30,000 spectators, a massive undertaking with budget projections surpassing the $1.2 billion mark. Financial commitments from various stakeholders, including the team itself, the St. Petersburg authorities, and Pinellas County, are pivotal in fueling this historic endeavor.

Rays New Stadium Deal Background

Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times earlier this month, Rays’ principal owner Stuart Sternberg expressed a burgeoning optimism surrounding the dialogues with the city and county officials, which according to him, are progressing at a gratifying pace. Sternberg conveyed the team’s willingness to bear half or potentially more of the infrastructural expenditures, amounting to $600 million or above. This financial groundwork is conceived to be further bolstered through partnerships with investors offering shares in the team.

As the 2027 endpoint of the 30-year Tropicana Field lease approaches, the agreement anticipates ushering in a revitalized home ground for the Rays, thereby augmenting revenue streams through enhanced attendance and lucrative sponsorship agreements. The substantial financial injection is perceived to facilitate improvements in facilities and bolster the player payroll, enhancing the overall competitive stance of the team.

Rays New Stadium Deal, the fruition of this project will signify the end of a persistent 16-year pursuit, which has witnessed a series of site proposals across Tampa Bay. Despite facing low turnout at the Tropicana Field, triggering exploratory discussions about potential sites in Tampa back in 2016, the efforts did not materialize into a concrete financing package.

In the past, there had been considerable speculation regarding the home ground being shared between Montreal and Tampa or the team moving to other cities such as Nashville or Las Vegas. However, this landmark announcement is expected to put an end to all speculations and herald a stable future for the team in St. Petersburg.

As we eagerly await Tuesday’s revelation, what stands confirmed is the futuristic, domed 30,000-seat ballpark, a testimony to perseverance and a beacon of renewed spirits and aspirations, marking an end to the 16-year journey fraught with challenges and explorations across Tampa Bay. Stay tuned for the detailed unveil of what promises to be a momentous chapter in the Rays’ legacy.

View the Stadium Conceptual Proposal

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Financial Background, how they will split the bill

Pinellas County Moves Forward with Tampa Bay Rays Stadium Funding Plans

In a recent joint meeting held by the Pinellas County Commissioners, administrators, and Tourist Development Council (TDC) members, the fiscal strategies surrounding the creation of a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium in St. Petersburg were discussed.

Key Points

  • Funding Breakdown:
    • Pinellas County: $300 million, sourced from local tourism taxes
    • St. Petersburg city officials: An expected $300 million, likely to be procured through bonds
    • Team owner Stuart Sternberg: To cover the remaining balance on the $1.2 billion project
  • Tourism Tax Revenue: The county plans to utilize the funds generated from a 6% surcharge on hotel stays, which garnered approximately $90 million last year, to support the initiative alongside other projects aimed at boosting tourism.
  • Other Projects:
    • Dali Museum Expansion: Recently allocated $25 million
    • Beach and Dune Renourishment: Projected to have around $485 million dedicated from the county’s funds over the next 40 years, based on a conservative estimate of 3% growth in tourism tax revenue.
  • Policy Changes and Challenges:
    • Beach Erosion: Large sections of the beach considered as “critically eroded” especially after Hurricane Idalia.
    • Policy Stalemate: The new policy by the Army Corps of Engineers requiring public easement documents from all adjacent property owners has led to delays.
  • Future Updates: Commission Chair Janet Long hinted at exciting updates to be shared soon regarding the Rays stadium project.

Summary

  • The Pinellas County officials are prepared to offer around $300 million, half of the expected public funding, through local tourism taxes for the new Tampa Bay Rays stadium.
  • The funding initiative leverages the revenue from a 6% surcharge on hotel stays, which is instrumental in financing tourism-enhancing capital projects.
  • The proposed funding for the stadium is seen as a balanced approach, safeguarding the financial involvement while fostering other crucial county projects, including the conservation and nourishment of the beaches, and the transformation of the former Toytown landfill into a youth sports center.
  • Despite unforeseen challenges, such as policy changes and natural calamities affecting the budget allocations, the authorities maintain an optimistic outlook on the financial scenario, assured by a consistent growth in tourism tax revenue.
  • As the county navigates the fiscal pathway with a cautious yet optimistic approach, the stakeholders anticipate more concrete details to emerge soon, setting a positive tone for the future of the stadium and other developmental projects in the region.
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