ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman released seven proposals Tuesday afternoon that detail new options for redevelopment of the 86-acre Tropicana Field Site.
The proposals include plans both with and without a baseball stadium. They also include affordable housing, commercial space and green space for residents.
Mayor Kriseman says city leaders will receive input regularly from the community to help select which of the redevelopment plans to move forward with.
"When you see these submissions, I think you'll quickly realize that the future has never been brighter," said Mayor Kriseman.
Initial discussions about the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site began 13 years ago.
The Rays Baseball Team is currently under contract to play in St. Pete until 2027.
The team’s future in Tampa Bay remains unclear, but team management say they continue to pursue a split season concept, with part of the year spent in Montreal.
Stu Sternberg, the Rays Managing General Partner, was at the announcement made by the city Tuesday.
“We’re focused on Tampa Bay right now. We feel as strong as we ever have about a split season concept, part in Tampa Bay and part in Montreal, and things are moving along incredibly well up there,” he told ABC Action News Reporter Sarah Hollenbeck.
Mayor Kriseman says the Rays have asked the city to put aside almost 50 acres of the site, specifically the land east of Booker Creek, to be transferred to the team for ownership. Of that, 14 acres would be parkland, and the Rays would control the remaining 36 acres. The Rays would get 100% of the proceeds on that land. The team has also asked that they receive 50% of the development rights proceeds for the remaining land west of Booker Creek. The Rays leadership indicated to Mayor Kriseman that they may not be able to stay in St. Petersburg without those proceeds.
Kriseman hasn’t warmed up to the idea.
“The moment the city turns complete and total control over the 36 acres to the Rays, the city loses all ability and authority to ensure the community’s voice is heard. The history of the site and unkept promises are fulfilled. I want the Rays here. I want the team to stay and work on creative ways to finance a new stadium, but I simply cannot allow the city and community to lose control of the site.”
The 86-acre Tropicana Field site was once home to a thriving Black neighborhood whose residents lost businesses and homes when the site was cleared to build the baseball stadium. City officials reiterated Tuesday that they plan to be very intentional about ensuring the Black community’s well-being is incorporated into whichever development plan moves forward.
That’s also important for lifelong St. Pete resident Corey Givens Jr. whose grandmother lived on the site before Tropicana Field was developed.
“This is personal to me. We need to make sure the history is honored. History matters, and we need to be a part of the discussion,” he added.
Sternberg says he will continue to meet with city leaders moving forward.
“We look forward to being here for generations to come, and we’re going to do everything we can and do it in our best way,” he elaborated.
To view the released plans, click here.