Proposal unveiled for new Rays stadium - FOX 13 News

Proposal unveiled for new Rays stadium

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A local development company Friday afternoon spelled out plans for a $576 million baseball stadium in Carillon, an area on the western end of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

Cityscape would surround the ballpark with 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use development, some of which would actually form some of the walls of the stadium.

The developer has been working on the plans since March 2010, according to president Chris Eastman.

An earlier community task force identified Carillon as one of three locations for a stadium more accessible to more people than Tropicana Field. Much of the presentation was devoted to comparing Carillon to Tampa's Dale Mabry corridor and its downtown Channelside district. The company claims that at buildout, Carillon alone will have 22,000 employees and more than 6,000 residents within half a mile of the new pitcher's mound.

Technically, the presentation was made to a special meeting of the St. Petersburg City Council. By contract, the Tampa Bay Rays can only talk to the City of St. Petersburg about ballparks, a requirement behind a four-year old stalemate between the team and the city. Rays executives listened to the presentation but left without comment.

The franchise later released a statement: "We're glad that people are taking an active interest in the long term of Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay area. We look forward to many more of these discussions taking place throughout the region."

Mayor Bill Foster said the next step in studying the Cityscape proposal requires an amendment to the Rays lease on Tropicana Field. Absent that amendment, "Then we're done" Foster told FOX 13 News.

In addition to mixed-use development, the stadium would have a see-through roof and main wall, either of which could be fixed or retractable depending on the budget. Stripped of those two features, Cityscape estimated a new stadium would cost $424 million.

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