It’s just a few days away from the Tampa Bay Rays season home opener and the St. Petersburg City Council is once again discussing the fate of Tropicana Field.
Members voted unanimously on Thursday to hold a workshop, to go over the most recent deal made by Mayor Rick Kriseman and the team.
The vote was the result of an agenda item pushed by Councilman Karl Nurse, who urged the council to move quickly on the redevelopment of the stadium property.
“Starting it while the economy is rolling is a big thing,” Nurse said. “Because once the economy stops, as we’ve seen before you never know when it starts again.”
Nurse estimates the land to be worth at least $50 million. He told the council redeveloping it with or without a stadium for the Rays would produce more money than the city is getting right now.
Chairman Charlie Gerdes said Thursday’s discussion was a step forward.
“I think we got some more information about what’s bothering some of the councilmembers,” Gerdes said. “Steve Kornell’s talk about the arithmetic not working with the economic impact. Bill Dudley shared some more information about what he needs as well.”
The council will continue the discussion during the workshop, which will be scheduled by the end of the month. Members said it’s key for a representative from the Rays to attend.
“If the Rays heard it the same way I heard it, I think they’ll say if it’s going to be productive, we’ll be there,” said Gerdes.
Bay News 9 reached out to the team but has yet to receive a response.
Mayor Kriseman’s office said it plans to send a representative to the workshop.