Group to pitch news Rays stadium proposal Friday at Carillon Hilton

Developer Darryl LeClair has a plan ready to go.

ST. PETERSBURG - Tropicana Field continues to be the backdrop of exciting moments for the Rays and their fans.  But could an empty space just south of Ulmerton Rd. be the next location for a new Rays stadium?

Prominent local real estate developer Darryl LeClair and his CityScape firm will officially unveil their extensive plans for a new stadium at a meeting today. The site sits just west of I-275 at Ulmerton Rd.  

Although it is a St. Petersburg City Council meeting, it will be held at the Carillon Hilton and is open to the public.

"It's exciting that there's going to be a plan.  We're going to listen carefully.  it's the start of a long process I think.  I think any stadium tends to be that," said St. Pete councilman Steve Kornell.

Members from the Pinellas County Commission are also expected to attend.

Commissioner Norm Roche is focused on what's best for the taxpayers of Pinellas County.

"I don't know what the presentation's going to be about.  All I can do is hope for what it will be about, to answer the questions that I have.  And that of course is the dollars and cents back to it," said Roche.

Rays officials, including principal owner Stuart Sternberg have also agreed to attend the unveiling of ideas.

Something that won't be part of Friday's meeting are questions. Not from the public, not from the Rays, not from Pinellas commissioners and not from members from St. Pete city council.

"It is good, and I think it's the best part about it.  Whether it is just the presentation or a presentation that includes the numbers and details; that's what I would certainly prefer," explained Roche.

Kornell knows that there will be plenty of opportunities after Friday to discuss the presentation at length.

"I don't think it's bad to hear the presentation and walk out of there and digest what you heard and think about it," Kornell Said.

Regardless of how the unveiling is received, it's being viewed as a positive step in opening dialogue about the future of the Rays.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Dr., St. Pete, 33716.

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