Kennedy unveils details of Rays plan
St. Petersburg City Council member Jim Kennedy has his own plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in the region and he told the Tampa Bay Times Friday about the details of the proposal that he plans to present to his colleagues at the Oct. 22 special meeting.
Kennedy's terms are tougher than either Mayor Rick Kriseman's plan, which failed to gain city council approval twice in the past year, or those of Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes, who will present his own plan at City Council next Thursday.
Kennedy would charge $5 million as a redevelopment fee if the Rays decide to leave for Hillsborough County. Once they leave the Trop, the team would owe $4 million a year until the contract expires in 2027.
If the Rays stay in Pinellas County, they would pay $2.5 million and $2 million respectively. If they stay in St. Petersburg? Zero.
Kennedy has long advocated for the Rays to say in St. Pete.
His proposal is off the table if the Pinellas County Commission decides to spend approximately $6.5 million in bed tax money that had gone to paying off the construction bonds on Tropicana Field. And if the Rays don't accept by Opening Day 2016? Poof, the Kennedy deal disappears.
Kennedy presented his plan to Kriseman and the Rays. The mayor is reserving comment, Kennedy said. And the Rays told him that they don't want to negotiate with individual council members.
Still, Kennedy is confident that he can get at least five votes. After all, four council members have already voted for Kriseman's deals while he has been a "no" vote.
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