Tampa Bay Rays announce plans for new St. Pete stadium, redevelopment of surrounding district



The Tampa Bay Rays are staying in St. Petersburg. The team announced plans for a new stadium at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.

Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay is here to stay, according to Stuart Sternberg, the principal owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Today we take a huge step forward to ensuring that the Rays fans will be here in Tampa Bay for generations and generations to come.”

The new stadium will be covered and have thirty thousand seats. Both the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County will contribute, together, 600 million dollars.

“Over time we will celebrate the uniqueness of our pavilion design, the possibilities for concerts, festivals, graduations, and so many other events.”

The new stadium is a key part of the multi-billion redevelopment of the Gas Works district in St. Pete. St. Petersburg City Administrator Rob Gerdes considers it an investment.

“Through this 20 to 30 year development we anticipate that it will be 200 million to Pinellas County Schools. This is going to help local schoolchildren. 55 million dollars to PSTA, this is going to help bus riders in our city. And hundreds of millions of dollars to the city and the county in new ad-valorem taxes. So this isn’t giving money away with no return –we are focused on the return”

The Black neighborhood was demolished decades ago, and Black families were displaced to build Tropicana Field. St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch knows this firsthand.

“Today we also honor the history of this place. Behind me is the very place where I, as a young man, worshipped at Prayer Tower Church of God and Christ, attended Sunday school, learned to be a decent musician. My story is the story of thousands who lived and worked and worshipped, in this place, in this neighborhood.”

The overall development agreement includes a 50 million dollar commitment to affordable housing, education programs, and minority businesses.

The deal has to be approved by the Pinellas County Commission and St. Pete City Council.

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