With St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman meeting with Tampa Bay Rays execs today to present the city council’s latest no-relocation-out-of-city-limits lease clause buyout proposal, Noah Pransky of WTSP-TV and the Shadow of the Stadium blog has analysis up of a lesser-discussed issue: Kriseman’s proposal to build a new stadium on the Tropicana Field site:
Kriseman has been steadfast in his city’s ability to put together the best package for a new stadium right on the current Tropicana Field site.
But even if St. Pete redevelops the Trop into a 15-acre stadium with 70 acres of residential, retail, and commercial space, it’s not quite sure where the funding would come from. Did Kriseman support new city taxes going toward a new stadium when taxpayers have already paid for another decade’s worth of baseball in St. Pete?
The mayor said it wouldn’t have to be “new” taxes since bed taxes and private money from redeveloping the Trop could be enough. But that’s quite a tall task…and some serious speculation.
Pransky goes on to calculate that even if St. Pete got access to all of the county’s tourist tax money for a new stadium, and the Rays kicked in $150-200 million, that would still leave around $100 million in funding still to be found in city coffers. And, of course, there’s also the issue that most people feel that the problem with the Trop (among those who think the problem is the Trop) is that it’s on the wrong side of the bay, which is the whole reason the Rays are seeking this lease buyout offer. But I suppose if you’re mayor of St. Pete, you need to have a plan for a stadium in St. Pete, even if you’re in the middle of talks about how to let the Rays out of St. Pete, and St. Pete would arguably do better letting a new Rays stadium be somebody else’s problem and just redeveloping the Trop land without a stadium, and … you know what, I don’t know why Kriseman is bothering, but I guess we’ve now mentioned his name four times in this one item, so maybe he’s just trying to boost his PageRank.