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Politics / Issues

Rays Stadium Vote Scheduled for Thursday

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Tampa Bay Rays

The near future of the Rays in the Tampa Bay area could be determined on Thursday afternoon.

The St. Petersburg City Council is scheduled to vote at 3 p.m. on Mayor Rick Kriseman’s proposal to give the Rays three years to analyze possible alternative sites for the team in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

The Rays currently have a lease with St. Petersburg to play at Tropicana Field until 2027.

Under the proposal negotiated by Mayor Kriseman with the Rays, the city would receive $2 to $4 million for each season, or part of a season, the Rays do not play at Tropicana Field between 2018 and 2016.

Also, the Rays would have to pay off any remaining bonds on Tropicana Field, amounting to $2 million through the end of the lease.

If the Trop is demolished to repurpose the site, the city would pay an estimated $4.8 million to cover the expenses, but Mayor Kriseman believes those costs could be covered by tax gains and redeveloping the site.

Several city council members have stated they have serious doubts about or outright opposition to the plan as currently written.

However, Mayor Kriseman has stated he plans to make an aggressive push for a new stadium on the site of the Trop or a renovation of the stadium itself.

You can read the proposal here:

http://www.stpete.org/Agenda%20Packets/2014-12-18%20Council%20Agenda.pdf

WUSF will cover the city council vote and bring you the latest developments as soon as they happen.