ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- So the Rays have announced details of its Ybor City stadium plan.
- If the Rays do move, what will become of the Trop site?
- City officials discussing plan and setting aside funding
- City council to meet today to vote on funding plan
With the team and business community eyeing ways to come up with nearly $900 million to pay for it, another questions remains.
If the team does actually move, what will become of the Tropicana Field site?
Well, there are plans underway for that as well. That is all part of a larger plan to redevelop the area.
- Architects planning for Trop site without stadium
- Phase One of this process to plan for the future of the Tropicana Field's 86-acre footprint
- Rays unveil Ybor City stadium plans
The City of St. Petersburg started working on those plans months ago. On Thursday, city council members will talk more in detail about those plans and funding to redevelopment the 86-acre site should the Rays actually move in the near future.
Council members will vote on an amendment that would free up funds to go directly towards prepping the Trop site for its next phase.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said the money could cover things like an EPA study or bringing back a street grid to the site. But Kriseman stressed that plenty of work remains before conference space, shops or hotels - all pitched ideas - could materialize.
"It’s hard to attract businesses to your community, especially when they have a lot of different choices they can make where they can relocate," Kriseman said. "If your site, you want them to be on, isn’t ready for them to go ahead and start construction on it, if you still have to do all the infrastructure improvements to get that site ready, by the time that’s done, they’ve moved on they’re off to another location and you’ve lost that potential employer."
If the city approves the amendment, a final vote will be taken next week and then it will go before the Pinellas County Commission for another approval.
Kriseman said several community meetings will be held within the next couple of months to discuss what specifically happened with the Trop site.