Hillsborough County leaders have secured a location in Ybor City to potentially be the home for a future Tampa Bay Rays baseball stadium.
- Nonprofit formed specifically to secure site
- No taxpayer money used to secure land
- Location secured for six months
Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan said the 14-acre site, located off Channelside Drive, Adamo Drive, 15th Street and 4th Avenue, was secured by a group of county business leaders who formed a nonprofit just to obtain the property.
Hagan also pointed out that the transaction did not cost taxpayers' money, and said the Rays were enthusiastic about the site as a future facility.
"The Rays love the location," Hagan said. "It meets all their criteria, their guiding principles as far as being in an urban environment -- location as a catalyst for development, local flair and authenticity right in the heart of the Ybor City district, site accessibility -- so we are excited and it shows [Major League Baseball] Commissioner Manfred that we were ready. We have community support, we have community leaders leading this charge, so it's really a perfect fit moving forward."
Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the land deal:
"This is another important step in the site selection process, and we are grateful for the time and attention that went into making it a possibility. We look forward to getting to work evaluating this option, along with those in Pinellas County including the Tropicana Field site, as a potential future home for Rays Baseball in Tampa Bay for generations to come.”
The mayor of the Rays' current home, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, sent out a tweet about the Hillsborough announcement shortly after the Rays issued their statement.
Confident the Rays will be playing #BaseballForever in St. Pete. Hills. County has a long way to go. Regardless, St. Pete comes out on top.— Rick Kriseman (@Kriseman) October 24, 2017
The Ybor City location has been secured for the next six months. Hagan said during that time the county will figure out the best way to pay for it all.