The City Desk: What’s Next for the Tropicana Field Site?
The City Desk is a monthly column written by and about the city of St. Petersburg. This month, Alan DeLisle, city development administrator, talks about the future of Tropicana Field – with or without baseball. (If other cities or counties in the Tampa Bay area would like a monthly City Desk column, give us a ring or email us at email@example.com.)
By ALAN DELISLE, St. Petersburg Development Administrator
ST. PETERSBURG – There is a lot of buzz surrounding the future of what we call the Tropicana Field site, also known as “the Trop Site.”
We are referring to the 85 acres between First Avenue S and I-175, and I-275 to the west and 10th Street S. There are many questions about what might happen at Tropicana Field should the Tampa Bay Rays decide to stay or should they decide to go.
We are doing our very best to keep progress moving toward a re-imagined Trop Site. We have partnered with HKS Architects, an internationally renowned firm that designed the San Diego Port Integrated Master Plan to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. The job of HKS is to help us create a conceptual master plan for the Trop Site under two different scenarios: one with baseball, one without.
As HKS began work on creating that first scenario – the one with a baseball stadium – we received a great deal of public input. We held four public meetings with more than 500 attendees, two City Council Committee of the Whole meetings, and five stakeholder workshops. Those workshops included more than 30 community organizations, neighborhood associations and business districts. We also had an email address specific to this project and a dedicated phone line to receive public feedback.
Today, we are beginning the planning for the second scenario: a site without a baseball stadium. This work will build on much of the public input we’ve already received.
We have signed another agreement with HKS Architects to develop that part of the conceptual master plan. This part of the plan – we call it Scenario 2 – will feature five stakeholder workshops, one public meeting, a City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, and community outreach from city staff to community organizations, neighborhood associations, and business districts, all upon request.
I know you may have heard a lot of news about the Tampa Bay Rays moving to Ybor City, but I want to be clear: The Rays have not yet decided where their next home will be. I have said all along that I’d hate for them to leave St. Pete, but it is important to keep them here in the Tampa Bay region.
The bottom line is that no matter what happens, with or without baseball, the new Tropicana Field site will create new jobs and new opportunities for St. Pete citizens. It will re-integrate the site with the rest of our community. It will expand transportation options in our city. And most important, the new Trop Site will reflect St. Pete’s vibrant, creative culture.
You can learn more about the Tropicana Field Conceptual Master Plan here: stpete.org/city_initiatives.
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