Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster wonders about security costs if RNC party comes to Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG — The prospect is exciting: a showcase party at Tropicana Field on the eve of next year's Republican National Convention.

But while he welcomes that kind of exposure for St. Petersburg, Mayor Bill Foster said the city needs to have a word with RNC organizers and the Tampa Bay Rays about who pays to guard the event, which could draw up to 15,000 journalists and 5,000 or more delegates.

"I know that there are some security needs that I'll end up eating just by virtue of the type of event it is," Foster said this week. But, he added, "There's no way we can eat the whole thing, and there's no way we can eat most of it. We haven't budgeted for it."

So far, no one has asked the city for anything, Foster said, nor are there estimates of what police and similar services would cost. While the city owns the Trop, the Rays manage it. Under a deal between the two, when an event grows to a certain size, the team has to contract with the city for services like security.

"We would like to get a handle on the costs so that everybody knows the expectations of the others," Foster said.

Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn referred questions to the convention's host committee, though the team has agreed to make the Trop available for an RNC event on Aug. 26, the day before the convention is gaveled to order.

The president of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee maintains that any talk about who pays for what is "very premature" and is not confirming that the party at the Trop — announced two months ago by the director of Pinellas County's tourism agency — will even take place.

"We're still looking at a lot of different options and nothing has been finally decided," host committee president Ken Jones said Friday.

The host committee has what amounts to hold-the-date contracts with nearly 100 potential event venues on both sides of Tampa Bay, including Raymond James Stadium and the University of South Florida Sun Dome. But that doesn't mean events will be scheduled at those facilities.

And Jones said the question of who covers what costs for any particular event is going to driven by a lot of different factors that won't be set until after convention organizers decide where various events will go.

"It depends on where the event is and what the event is," he said. "If you're looking at hosting a dinner at the Capital Grille the security's going to be much different than if you're hosting a 10,000-person event at Raymond James Stadium. It's going to be a facts-and-circumstances situation, and I just can't speculate on the level of security or the amount of security that's going to be required or who the attendees might be."

So when will those decisions be made?

"Fairly soon," Jones said. "We've still got some time to decide these things. When we've done the due diligence and we determine that a venue makes sense, we'll go ahead and firm it up."

Richard Danielson can be reached at Danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster wonders about security costs if RNC party comes to Tropicana Field 11/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. As Trump's overseas trip ends, crisis grows at home (w/video)

    Politics

    President Donald Trump headed home Saturday to confront a growing political and legal threat, as his top aides tried to contain the fallout from reports that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a focus of investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the president's campaign and transition teams.

    President Donald Trump waves as he exits Marine One on Saturday at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. After a nine-day trip overseas, the president is returning to Washington.
  2. Tributes pour in for ex-national security adviser Brzezinski

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  3. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  4. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  5. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.