Tampa Bay Rays enter bid to redevelop Tropicana Field site

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays, in partnership with a global real estate investment and development firm, have submitted a bid to redevelop Tropicana Field and surrounding land on the edge of downtown St. Petersburg.

The club said Friday that in addition to a new ballpark, an ambitious plan for the Historic Gas Plant District would include more than 5,700 multi-family units, 1.4 million square feet of office, 300,000 square feet of retail, 700 hotel rooms, 600 senior living residences and a 2,500 capacity entertainment venue.

The Rays have been pursuing a new home to replace Tropicana Field, the domed stadium where the team has played since its inception in 1998, for more than a decade. The Rays have often ranked near the bottom in annual attendance in the majors. The club’s lease expires in 2027.

Most recently, Major League Baseball rejected a split-season proposal that would have involved building new stadiums in Florida and Canada, with the Rays playing some homes games in the Tampa Bay area and the rest in Montreal.

The Rays are partnering with the real estate investment and development firm Hines, which also joined the club in exploring the prospect of building a stadium in downtown St. Petersburg in 2008. That plan involved building on the site of Al Lang Stadium, where spring training games were once played.

“For decades, Hines has demonstrated the knowledge, expertise, and reliability to deliver complex projects of this size and magnitude,” Rays president Matt Silverman said. “Hines has been acquainted with this site for 15 years, and we know that Hines will be here 15 years from now, fulfilling its promises and vision for the Historic Gas Plant District.”

The Rays’ proposal was among four bids submitted to the city by Friday’s deadline. A developer is expected to be selected by the end of January.

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