Rays, City Council discuss stadium proposal

03/19/08 Jamie Kidder
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The Greater Pinellas Point Civic Association held a meeting last night in St. Petersburg to discuss the Tampa Bay Rays stadium proposal. Citizens were invited to ask questions of a panel made up of people who are both supportive and opposed to the proposed stadium.

The panel consisted of Michael Kalt, senior vice president of Development and Business affairs for the Tampa Bay Rays; Jamie Bennett of the St. Petersburg City Council; Rick Musset of the City administration; Kenny Locke, who represents citizens supporting the proposal; and Kathleen Ford, a former City Council member and representative of citizens who oppose the stadium proposition.

Michael Kalt was the keynote speaker. He covered what he felt to be important concerns facing the both the city and the Rays. According to Kalt, making Tropicana Field's 85 acres available for private use would increase the city's tax revenue. Plus, the Rays would only propose that "a portion" of the revenue generated from the land sale and taxation go to the new stadium, he said.

Kathleen Ford, representing the citizen's group Protect Our Wallets and Waterfront, feels that the Rays haven't been up front with the citizens of St. Petersburg

After each panel member introduced themselves and gave a quick speech, the floor was opened up for questions. Tensions ran high as people were cut off and speakers were booed.

Last night's meeting was one of many town hall meetings in which the proposed stadium is to be discussed. To learn more about the stadium proposal, visit majorleagedowntown.com. To learn about the opposition to the stadium proposal, visit stpetepoww.com.

I'm Jamie Kidder from St. Petersburg.

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