Kriseman Makes ‘Baseball Forever’ Pitch to Rays
The “pitch” was made today today (April 5) at Tropicana Field.
ST. PETERSBURG – Mayor Rick Kriseman and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Chris Steinocher made the city’s “Baseball Forever” Campaign pitch to the Tampa Bay Rays today (April 5).
The pitch, a 43-page presentation responding to the Rays’ 2016 New Ballpark Site Evaluation Process Document, is an overview of the Tropicana Fieldsite’s potential as a dynamic forever home for the team, and includes letters of support from many of Pinellas County’s largest employers. Home Shopping Network, JohnsHopkins All Children’s Hospital, Nielsen, Raymond James, and Valpak are among the 15 corporations that have committed to keeping the team in St. Petersburg.
The proposal includes a vision for the complete revamping of the Tropicana Field site. About 40 percent of the reworked site, or 34 acres, would include a kids zone and neighborhoood market. The remaining 60 percent, or 52 acres, would include a ballpark, hotel and conference center, entertainment/retail space and office space. According to the pitch, the “proposed ballpark site would be generally located in the northeast corner of the existing Tropicana Field site, west of Dr. MLK Jr. Street, in the heart of downtown St. Pete. The ballpark would be closely coordinated with the redevelopment of the existing 86 acre Tropicana Field site, and the specific size and location of the ballpark site could be adjusted as necessary.
“The Rays will take the lead role in overseeing the design of a new contemporary sustainable ballpark, in coordination with their private and public partners. It’s anticipated that the design objectives for the new ballpark would consist of the following basic criteria, and be subject to design details by the ballpark design team, approval by the Rays and the city, and required regulatory approvals:
“The ballpark site would be approximately 20 acres and intricately integrated into the surrounding urban fabric, including the redevelopment of the existing Tropicana Field site and the surrounding area.
“The ballpark site size and geometry could be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the design of the ballpark in order to properly address stadium design features such as pedestrian and vehicular access, superstructure design requirements such as a covering or roof over the playing field and fans, and other features.
“The Rays will have control over the design and capacity of the new ballpark to ensure that it meets [Major League Baseball] requirements and the fan experience is optimal.
“The city realizes the importance of having design flexibility to accommodate more intimate event requirements or additional capacity for major events, and the city will work closely with the Rays design and construction team to help facilitate the project and ensure all applicable code requirements are met. In summary, the city and the Rays both want a new sustainable ballpark that the entire Tampa Bay region will be proud of and be attractive to current and future generations of Rays players and fans.”
The full presentation and supporting documents can be found online at BaseballForever.com.
At 5:30 p.m. Kriseman, Steinocher, and Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin will address fans at a Baseball Forever’ celebration at Ferg’s Sports Bar located across the street from Tropicana Field. Later, Kriseman will be throwing the Ceremonial First Pitch before tonight’s game versus the New York Yankees.
Kriseman will address the St. Petersburg City Council about the Rays’ proposal at Thursday’s (April 6) council meeting at City Hall, 175 5th St. N. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.
Photo of Tropicana Field courtesy of the city of St. Petersburg.
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