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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #1
Meffy
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Tampa Bay Rays Stadium Discussion

Rays planning waterfront ballpark
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ST. PETERSBURG - The Tampa Bay Rays are planning a $450-million stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront site of Al Lang Field.

The stadium, with about 35,000 seats, largely would be paid for by the team, which might contribute about $150-million as well as the proceeds of the sale of development rights to Tropicana Field. The team hopes to attract a private developer to build a large retail/residential complex at the Tropicana Field site. The team also would seek as much as $60-million in future state sales-tax revenues, which would require approval by the Legislature.

St. Petersburg voters would need to approve the new stadium because it is public property. The city would attempt to sell the land to the county so it wouldn't have to pay property taxes. The Rays would ask for a longterm lease.

The new stadium would be open-air, but it could be covered with sail-like material on a cabling system. Some seating areas would be air conditioned.

The stadium would be built on the site of the longtime spring training stadium that the team is leaving next year.

The new stadium would be positioned so that balls hit over the right-field fence would splash into the water, similar to the Giants stadium in San Francisco.

-- Aaron Sharockman and Marc Topkin, Times staff writers
http://blogs.tampabay.com/breakingne...lanning-w.html

This article was also posted on the front of sptimes.com with a picture of Al Lang field.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #2
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Awesome! An outdoor, downtown stadium would be great. I know I am in the minority - but I am happy for St. Petersburg if they keep the team!
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #3
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Cool.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 02:07 AM   #4
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More changes on the horizon for The Rays
Friday, November 9, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG (Bay News 9) -- Two major changes in two days for the Tampa Bay Rays. Yesterday it was new uniforms, today- a new stadium.

According to Bay News 9's partner newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, The Rays are planning a $450-million stadium on the waterfront site of Al Lang field in St. Petersburg.

It would largely be paid for by the team as well as the proceeds of the sale of Tropicana field.

According to the St. Pete Times, the team wants a developer to build a large complex at the Tropicana field site.

The new stadium would be open air but it could be covered with sail-like material on a cabling system.

St. Pete voters would have to approve the deal.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2...n+for+The+Rays
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Old November 10th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #5
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^There should be no mystery what my position on this will be if it involves taxpayer dollars. So instead, let's explore 5 alternative subplots.

Thought 1... Putting a stadium on the downtown waterfront is just about the last thing I would do. Talk about a misuse of precious resources imo. However, my gut says that the city voters wouldn't go for this if given basically any other option... Which is likely the whole point. The Rays are throwing this out there to see if it sticks, which if it does, can be used as leverage later.

2... I'm at a loss to see how putting the stadium another few mins away from Tampa helps. It's like the team looked at the issue of being largely removed from their fan base and decided that the best solution would be to move a little further away, just in case. I guess they figure that they've alienated most fans already, might as well alienate them all, and start over with a clean slate.

3... I can't wait for those TV images of murky, smoggy Tampa Bay on those sweltering afternoons where the humidity merges sea and sky into a singularly oppressive gray mass... The fans melt in the seats... Suddenly, squalls roll in without warning, leading to mass slip and falls and games rained out in the 6-8th inning... Yeah, that will be wonderful! Hopefully, said sail is actually a canopy over the playing field, not just a sunshade for fans.

4... I have a better idea for the Rays ownership. Spend your $450 million lobbying your asshole co-owners of baseball to level the playing field in the sport a bit, and clean up MLB's image. And guess what? Your team might actually have more than a snowball's chance in hell of winning, and it would boost the value of your investment (and the sport) a whole hell of a lot more too.

5. At least they're giving it the old college try before inevitably moving the team to a city with the kind of fan base this team has needed all along.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:37 AM   #6
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Trying to understand here ... a shopping center would be built on the old Trop site ?

And I love the idea of the waterfront ballpark. downtown St. Pete would just be the bee's knees if this happens, along with BRT.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #7
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Jesus, Tropicana Field was built in 1990. It is very new. Cost big bucks to build. Now we want to tear it down and build another. Waste of somebody's money. I believe Tropicana Field was heavily taxpayer subsidized. I have a feeling the taxpayers were screwed.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #8
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This thread has been created from fragments from multiple threads, so some things may seem weird in the first few posts
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Old November 10th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #9
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I'm all for a new baseball stadium and redevelopment of the current Tropicana Field site. The stadium isn't old at all, but it's already somewhat outdated. Get rid of it. I always thought they would move to build a new stadium in Tampa, though...or at least in the Gateway area of St. Pete to make it more centralized. However, I like the waterfront stadium idea. The biggest issue with the location IMO is access. LRT/BRT would definately be needed to make it convenient.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 02:01 PM   #10
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If the Ray's want a chance to make this team become popular in the Tampa Bay area....they need to move to Tampa. The majority of the people live on the other side of the Bay and very rarely will travel across the bridge to go downtown St Pete or Ballgame.....

I love parts of St Pete but it may as well be St petersburg, Russia.....for as much as most tampa area people go there. Bad move to keep it in St Pete......move to Tampa or leave the area.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 02:42 PM   #11
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You know what I think should be built on the Trop site? A transit center for PSTA busses and commuter rails to Tampa...
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:25 PM   #12
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While I am generally a proponent of the Rays moving to Tampa, I have to say that it has been proven time and again with Tampa area teams that if you can win the people will come, no matter where your stadium is. The Lightning proved it when they were in St. Pete, and so did the Storm....and even the Rays. Turn the team around and you will fill any stadium, no matter where it is.

With that said....I do not think the Rays have much of a choice about staying in St. Pete if they want a new stadium any time soon. They have a 30 year lease on the Trop...about the only way out would be staying in St. Pete. I would rather see them in Tampa, but I do not see that happening in the current environment.

Transportation will be a moajor issue. If we could get rail from Tampa to DT St. Pete that would help a lot...but that will be years away.

I wonder what the time frame is on this...neither article mentioned that.

Steve
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Old November 10th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #13
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By MARC LANCASTER and CARLOS MONCADA, The Tampa Tribune

Published: November 9, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - If the Tampa Bay Rays have their way, outdoor baseball will come to downtown St. Petersburg by 2012.

Despite pouring millions of dollars into improvements at Tropicana Field the last two years, the Rays have long pined for a more welcoming and traditional setting than the multipurpose dome that was part of the Bay area's admission ticket to Major League Baseball.

In recent months, the team has intensified planning for an open-air ballpark projected to cost about $450 million to be built along the St. Petersburg waterfront on the site of the team's current spring training stadium, Al Lang Field. The Rays acknowledged the project at a Friday night news conference after details of the plan appeared in Internet reports.

''We are excited about these potential developments and the all of benefits that they would bring to our community,'' said team president Matt Silverman, reading from a statement. ''Anything we do would certainly involve significant public input in all aspects of process.''

Rays officials declined to comment further on the matter. They are expected to make a full public announcement of their plans, including unveiling artists' renderings of the stadium that already have been reviewed by city and state officials, within the next few weeks.

For the moment, it is nothing more than a concept – financing plans remain murky and local voters and the state government must approve certain aspects of the plan for everything to fall into place. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Rays hope to provide the bulk of the money necessary for stadium construction.

News of the new stadium caught several St. Petersburg council members by surprise, including chairman James Bennett.

"We need to be briefed,'' Bennett said after a special council session where council members received team jerseys with the new Rays logo. "This is a shock to me.''

Mayor Rick Baker was unavailable at city hall and later could not be reached for comment.

City Development Administrator Rick Mussett, a member of Baker's cabinet, said he ''can't comment one way or another'' when asked if the Rays made a request to the city for a new stadium.

Unlike in 1986, when city leaders cast their controversial vote to use tax money to build the $138 million domed stadium despite the absence of a baseball team, a new stadium on city-owned waterfront property would require a referendum and likely would not involve tax dollars, council member Bill Foster said.

''The days of publicly funded stadiums are behind us,'' Foster said. ''There is a tax revolt. So it would have to involve no new tax money.''

Tropicana Field Through The Years

1986: Groundbreaking for $138 million domed stadium west of downtown St. Petersburg, designed to lure a major-league baseball franchise.

March 3, 1990: The Florida Suncoast Dome opens.

April 23, 1996: Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers play before the largest indoor crowd in NHL history (28,183) in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series.

Oct. 4, 1996: ThunderDome is renamed Tropicana Field with $13 million naming rights agreement between Tropicana Dole Beverages North America and St. Petersburg.

Oct. 7, 1996: Groundbreaking for $85 million renovation to prepare Tropicana Field for Major League Baseball.

March 31, 1998: Devil Rays lose to Tigers in Tropicana Field's first major-league game.

April 7, 2000: Tropicana Field's first game is played on FieldTurf, an artificial surface that mimics natural grass.

Winter 2006: Rays spend $10 million on renovations at Tropicana Field.

2007: About $108 million remains on Tropicana Field's public debt.

2012: "Five-year" shelf life for Tropicana Field ends, according to Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg.

2015: About $44 million remains on Tropicana Field's public debt.

2025: Public debt is scheduled to be paid.

2027: Original 30-year lease between Rays and St. Petersburg ends.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampasteve View Post

I wonder what the time frame is on this...neither article mentioned that.
The land is vacant now, and won't be for long one way or the other. My guess is they want something to happen within 7-8 years, tops. Otherwise, why bring up a site that won't be vacant for long?

[edit: yeah nevermind. the article you posted next said they want to move in by 2012, or 5 years]
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Old November 10th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
If the Ray's want a chance to make this team become popular in the Tampa Bay area....they need to move to Tampa. The majority of the people live on the other side of the Bay and very rarely will travel across the bridge to go downtown St Pete or Ballgame.....

I love parts of St Pete but it may as well be St petersburg, Russia.....for as much as most tampa area people go there. Bad move to keep it in St Pete......move to Tampa or leave the area.
Well, that attitude is certainly true of SOuth Tampa, but the rest of the world would go for a good time in a nice stadium - but it needs to be truly retractible
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Old November 10th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Trying to understand here ... a shopping center would be built on the old Trop site ?
No, I think they're talking about a big, dense, town center type of thing... You know, the sort of development that would generate high 8 figures in land sale proceeds.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampasteve View Post
While I am generally a proponent of the Rays moving to Tampa, I have to say that it has been proven time and again with Tampa area teams that if you can win the people will come, no matter where your stadium is. The Lightning proved it when they were in St. Pete, and so did the Storm....and even the Rays. Turn the team around and you will fill any stadium, no matter where it is.
Have to agree with you there.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse View Post
No, I think they're talking about a big, dense, town center type of thing... You know, the sort of development that would generate high 8 figures in land sale proceeds.
Gotcha. Makes more sense.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 09:19 PM   #19
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Hopefully St Pete leaders won't get any bright ideas and recruit a company like Gaylord Hotels to come in and build one of their huge 400,000 sqft conference centers and resort hotel, to anchor a redeveloped Dome District... Dt Tampa would be f***ed... lol
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Old November 10th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #20
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A conference center with large hotel, maybe a mix of apartments/condos and a sizeable retail/entertainment corridor down the center is just what I could see happening there. I'm sure a piece of that property would be reserved for a transit hub to provide direct access. Now that's a winner!
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