'Rays' want state help for new stadium
The Tampa Bay Rays have developed a bold plan to build a $450-million downtown St. Petersburg stadium that would offer fans waterfront views and shelter from rain.
The stadium, to be built on the site of Al Lang Field at Progress Energy Park, would seat around 35,000 and open in 2012. Details of the plan were obtained Friday by the St. Petersburg Times. The Rays issued a statement late Friday, after the newspaper published a story on its Web site, tampabay.com.
Financing is still being worked out, but a primary source would be proceeds of the sale of the Tropicana Field site to a private developer who would build a large retail/residential complex there. The Rays would make a significant contribution, perhaps as much as $150-million, covering a third of the cost.
The team also would seek legislative approval for $60-million of state money in future sales tax revenues.