ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to make a major announcement Tuesday regarding the future of Tropicana Field and the Historic Gas Plant District.
The City of St. Petersburg will hold a joint news conference with Pinellas County and the Rays on Tuesday to announce the deal, concluding the years-long search for the team’s new home.
The new stadium will be built near the current site of Tropicana Field and will include redevelopment of the 86-acre Historic Gas Plant District, according to preliminary plans from the Hines & Rays development team.
Last year, St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch said the city’s goal for the development is a plan that preserves history, includes affordable housing, and accommodates a state-of-the-art baseball stadium.
Dozens gathered at a St. Pete church in July to voice their concerns about the new development. They want to see the Historic Gas Plant District, a historically Black community, restored rather than redeveloped into another stadium surrounded by expansive parking lots.
Residents and businesses were forced to relocate to make way for Tropicana Field 40 years ago. They were promised jobs, opportunity and equitable development, which did not come to fruition, residents said.
As of January, the commitment from Hines & Rays included $50 million aimed at restoring the minority-owned businesses that were displaced.
“I am a child of the gas plant,” Welch said in January. “My grandfather was one of those businesses that was uprooted when the interstate came through.”
City and county officials are expected to share more details about the stadium redevelopment deal on Tuesday.