St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman presented the city council another agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, in an attempt to bridge the divide between the city and the team in their search for a new home.
As expected, the deal is similar to Kriseman’s original proposal, which would have cost the team up to $24-million to leave Tropicana Field before 2027. However, the new understanding includes a few tweaks, which are highlighted below.
- The proposal includes incentives that would allow the team to share in redevelopment revenue on the current property that the city would put in escrow. The team would get half if it stays in the city up to or beyond 2027. If they leave before the end of the lease the team will receive nothing. Some have estimated the total to be up to $1-billion.
- The team will be expected to tell the city how it will evaluate stadium locations, while also giving the city six months to make a case for the current Tropicana Field location (including the potential development revenue).
- The Rays will be required to pay half the cost for developing a master plan for the Tropicana field site, with or without a new stadium.
- The deal would expire after three years if the team decides to stay or can’t find a new home.
There are no changes to the annual penalty payments if the team leaves St. Petersburg before 2027, remaining at approximately $2-million per season ― $4-million for 2018, $3-million a year for 2019-2022, $2-million for 2023-2026, $0 for 2027. Noah Pransky (Shadow of the Stadium) was quick to point that that figure has been poorly reported and is also significantly less than what other teams have paid to break their stadium contracts.
The document, which can be read in its entirety, follows.
As I wrote Wednesday, the proposal was vetted among all eight council members in a series of meetings this week attended by the mayor, Rays President Brian Auld and City Attorney Jackie Kovilaritch.
Next up, Mayor Kriseman says he expects the reworked deal to pass at City Council next Thursday. That could open the floodgates to stadium exploration in both Pinellas and Tampa. Check back for more details on this story.
Steven Girardi/Tampa Tribune: St. Pete mayor presents new deal to let Rays search for stadium site.
Noah Pransky/Shadow of the Stadium: Kriseman Releases New Rays Deal; Vote Expected Soon.
Charlie Frago/Tampa Bay Times: Kriseman, Rays release details of new proposed agreement on stadium search.