Another developer has stepped up with a proposal to build a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays, and we're pretty sure we'll see yet another game plan in coming weeks.
Developer Joel Cantor says he can build a 33,000-seat ballpark on the Channelside Bay Plaza site in downtown Tampa, on the waterfront, in a configuration similar to the one found at AT&T Park. While there's no financing plan in place -- though Cantor says his firm would pay $50 million, and presumably the Rays would continue their commitment of $150 million -- Cantor told the Tampa Bay Times he thought a downtown ballpark would be good for Tampa;
"Surprisingly, the dimensions fit on the water,'' he said. "It's obviously a big project, and it's a long shot. But we came to the conclusion that it would be the ideal site for a baseball stadium. It would a tremendous catalyst to rejuvenating downtown Tampa.''
The issue is going to be getting clear ownership of the land. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is putting together a deal to buy Channelside Bay Plaza and will unveil his own ballpark plan in coming days, but the former owner of the land, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. (which gave up ownership because it couldn't cover debt payments) can match any the price of any sale, plus an additional $375,000.
The offers from Cantor and (presumably) Vinik will join one from Darryl LeClair to build a new ballpark in St. Pete's Carillon Business Park as options for the Rays in their quest for a new home. Tropicana Field clearly isn't the future of the franchise, and a new ballpark would lock the team into the Tampa Bay area. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has continually held that the team is contractually obligated to play at the Trop through 2027, but the ballpark bonds are slated to be paid off in 2016.
RELATED STORIES: LeClair unveils intriguing ballpark plan for Rays; Rays: We'll listen to St. Pete ballpark pitch; Letter: Rays can talk new ballpark -- but only for St. Pete location; Ballpark pitch will be heard by St. Pete -- but officials will not respond;Parking huge issue for proposed Rays ballpark site; Pinellas County, private investor want to pitch Rays, St. Pete on ballpark plan; Rays: We'll talk new ballpark with Hillsborough County; Hillsborough County: Nothing legally bars us from talking new ballpark with Rays; Newly available land parcel could bring downtown Tampa ballpark -- maybe; Immigration funds eyed for new Rays ballpark; Oakland contemplates foreign investments to help fund A's ballpark; Hillsborough County ready to make run at new Rays ballpark; Rays: Prove to us Tampa Bay can support baseball; Could this be the year for a new Rays ballpark?; Regional ballpark authority pitched for Tampa Bay; Mayor, council differ on approach to Rays ballpark issue;Tampa: We could have $100M for new Rays ballpark; Yet another group seeks to break Rays ballpark logjam; St. Pete mayor: there's nothing wrong with the Trop; Tampa, St. Pete business leaders combine forces for new Rays ballpark; Could Rays declare bankruptcy to escape Trop lease?; Tampa Sports Authority declines to participate in Rays ballpark talks -- for now; Chamber to take up Rays ballpark cause; Pinellas County extends hotel tax -- but not enough for new Rays ballpark; Selig still "concerned" about Rays ballpark situation; Pinellas County mulls hotel-tax extension for new Rays ballpark; Rays: No, we're not interested in limiting ballpark search to St. Pete; Can Tampa Bay support MLB?; St. Pete officials now say Trop is replaceable -- at a price; Potential new player emerges in Rays ballpark battle; Rays: Time to talk new ballpark again; Rays ballpark brawl: Tampa versus St. Pete; Three Rays ballpark sites recommended by committee; New Rays ballpark discussion shifts to Tampa;Group: Any new Rays ballpark needs retractable roof; Group: Renovating Trop isn't option in keeping Rays; Rays task force may have prelim recommendations by June -- but no site
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.
|< Prev||Next >|