It’s (mostly) official — the Tampa Bay Rays are staying in St. Pete.
The Rays, the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, and other community leaders gathered on Tuesday, Sept. 19 to announce a finalized deal to build a brand-new $1.3 billion stadium in St. Pete — part of larger $6.5 billion project to redevelop the Gas Plant District
“Today we celebrate coming to terms on an agreement to make that plan a reality. Major League Baseball is here to stay,” said Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg at the Tropicana Field announcement. “Today we take a huge step forward in ensuring that Rays fans will be here in Tampa Bay for generations and generations to come.”
Where’s the money coming from?
Pinellas County will contribute about $300 million from bed tax dollars + St. Pete will contribute another $300 million through various revenue sources, Mayor Ken Welch said at a press conference.
The Rays will pay about $700 million of the total stadium pricetag — plus any overage.
What do the stadium + Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment plans look like?
- 30,000-seat stadium featuring a pavilion-style fixed roof, air conditioning, and some windows
- 5,000+ housing units (including affordable and senior housing)
- A concert venue
- A hotel
- Office/medical space
- A new Woodson African American Museum of Florida
- Enhancements to the St. Petersburg African American Heritage Trail
- 14 acres of public parks, recreation, and open space
What does the timeline look like?
Leaders will meet with St. Pete City Council members in October to go through term papers — for both the stadium and the surrounding development, said Rob Gerdes, St. Pete city administrator. Then the city will work out numerous agreements + the decision will come back to the council early next year for a final vote.
Similarly, the initial term sheet will be brought to the Pinellas County commission in October, added Barry`Burton, the county’s administrator. Other agreements and necessary documents will follow.
Pending city and county approval, construction is expected to start in late 2024, with the Rays taking the field in 2028.