A Tampa architect says an 18-acre site on the Hillsborough River could be the new home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
William Henry presented his proposal during a public comment period at a Hillsborough County Commission meeting Wednesday. The development would include apartments, a hotel, and a 28,000-seat stadium.
“If Major League Baseball exhausts its options, first in Pinellas, second in Ybor, which is a great proposal, this could be plan C or plan D,” Henry told commissioners. “As concerns MLB, this could be considered an insurance policy against relocation to a city outside Tampa Bay.”
Henry’s proposal is one of several the city received for redevelopment of the West River site, near Armature Works.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, Henry created “Tampa Riverfront Sports LLC” in March, five days before the city’s request for proposal deadline.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called Henry’s proposal a “non-starter.” Buckhorn told the Tampa Bay Times the development is out of character for the surrounding neighborhood.
The Rays declined to comment on the plan. The team’s lease on Tropicana Field requires it to stay in St. Petersburg through 2027. Pinellas County commissioners have set aside tourist development tax money for a possible new ballpark, but those funds could be diverted to other projects.