Some 11-1/2 months after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Krisemen announced a pending stadium deal with the Tampa Bay Rays — a deal that was ultimately voted down by the city council — council member Jim Kennedy offered a counter-offer that passed with a 5-3 vote Thursday afternoon.
Under the compromise, the Rays would compensate the city of St. Petersburg $4M a year for every season the team plays in Hillsborough County until 2027. Kennedy offered a discount for every season they play outside of St. Petersburg, but within Pinellas County (Toytown, Carillon, Derby Lane, etc); a sum total of $2.5 million a year.
Additionally, under the counter-offer, the Rays would pay a one-time redevelopment fee to cover the cost of site preparation and demolition of the Trop. If they move to Hillsborough County, that fee would be $5M. However, that fee drops to $2.5M if they leave St. Petersburg but stays in Pinellas County.
The team would not be on the hook for anything if they come to an agreement on a new St. Peterasburg stadium, although all offers would be off the table if Pinellas Commissioners dedicated their available bed taxes elsewhere.
Under Kennedy’s plan, the estimated payout to the city would be $41M — $21M more than the original Kriseman plan, agreed upon by the Rays. This new deal is similar to that of the one previously offered by former Mayor Bill Foster, who wanted $5M from the Rays per season to vacate Tropicana Field.
— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) October 22, 2015
$41M is significantly higher than the compromise offered by council member Charlie Gerdes, who earlier proposed a deal worth $25.5M. Gerdes was one of three dissenting votes against the new proposal, along with council members Amy Foster and Darden Rice.
Mayor Krisemen will bring the counteroffer to the Rays to strike a compromise, although he is concerned that “as time passes, deals don’t get better.”
Noah Pransky (Shadow of the Stadium blog) offered his takeaways from the council meeting at his site.