Jun 30, 2022 - News

Tropicana Field redevelopment goes back to the drawing board

Tropicana Field stands by palm trees in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Photo: Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The fate of Tropicana Field and the Rays are back up in the air.

Driving the news: After a report earlier this week revealed Tampa and Hillsborough County officials have made little progress on a new Rays stadium in Ybor City, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch held a press conference Wednesday to say he's starting from scratch on plans to redevelop Tropicana Field.

  • Welch is now prioritizing plans that include a new baseball stadium, ditching proposals that focused on office space and non-affordable housing.

Why it matters: The Rays have just five years to figure out what they'll do before their Tropicana Field lease runs out in 2027.

  • The team threatened to leave the area if a new stadium wasn't built for them, but Tampa Mayor Jane Castor told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that the Rays have not proposed even a conceptual plan for a full-season stadium.

Flashback: As one of his last acts as mayor, Rick Kriseman picked a redevelopment plan from Miami-based Midtown Development in December.

Yes, but: St. Petersburg is no longer using that pick, and Welch expects to issue a new request for proposals by August.

  • Welch said he hopes Midtown and Kriseman's runner-up Sugar Hill Community Partners re-submit redevelopment proposals.
  • Sugar Hill told Creative Loafing it plans to do so.

What's next: Welch will be holding community outreach events over the next few weeks and taking feedback online for new ideas for the Trop.

  • Castor is demanding renderings or details for what the Rays want in a stadium before Tampa proceeds with its Ybor plan.
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