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Mayor Rick Kriseman to discuss Tropicana Field redevelopment site plans

Plans to add a consultant to the planning process were "unfortunately derailed," the mayor said last week.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is deserted Thursday, March 26, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mayor Rick Kriseman is expected to discuss the latest plans to redevelop the Tropicana Field site.

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the baseball stadium, according to a release. Those planning to join Kriseman include Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, city development administrator Alan Delisle and urban affairs director Nikki Capehart.

The mayor recently announced that plans to add a consultant to the planning process were "unfortunately derailed." 

For years, city leaders have been imagining the 86-acre area near downtown St. Petersburg -- with or without a stadium. The Tampa Bay Rays during the spring of 2008 considered seeking voter approval to build a new stadium on the city's waterfront, but they backed out when it appeared likely the question would be defeated. 

RELATED: TIMELINE: Tampa Bay Rays' stadium saga

The Rays, in the years after thereafter, asked to consider other locations across Tampa Bay for a new stadium but couldn't formally start looking given its contract with the city of St. Petersburg. It wouldn't be until 2016 when the team was given permission and, in 2018, they announced the selection of a site in Ybor City.

The project, totaling near $900 million, wouldn't get off the ground. In 2019, the Rays were given permission to explore becoming a two-city team between St. Petersburg and Montreal, but the coronavirus pandemic hit and that plan was paused.

The Rays remain locked into a lease at Tropicana Field until 2027 and, until then, Kriseman has said the city will move forward with site plans with "the history of that site at the forefront." It was the historically Black Gas Plant neighborhood that was cleared to make way for Tropicana Field.

"We want the team here in St. Petersburg. If it’s on that site, great," Kriseman said. "If they’re in St. Pete and it’s not on that site, that’s OK too. We’re prepared to address that."

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