ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The Rays-Hines group, along with St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, pitched their plan to build a new stadium to the St. Pete city council.
The goal is to build a 35,000-seat ballpark with a fixed roof to open by opening day in 2028.
“What I love even more is a private partner who is dedicated to the future for all of our residents, and that’s what I see in the Ray’s,” Councilmember Brandi Gabbard.
The stadium’s estimated cost alone is $1.3 billion. This does not include the redevelopment of the surrounding area. The Rays contribution is $700 million and is asking the county for $312 million and the city for $287 million.
“I would love to have this team as the anchor, but not at the expense of the city,” said Councilmember Richie Floyd.
Both Floyd and John Muhammad questioned the city’s portion.
“Why are we prioritizing this for those who say, ‘Well, this is not the greatest need of the city right now,’ and these 200-400 million dollars can be used to really help the residents of the city,” said Muhammad.
Mayor Ken Welch said this is about fulfilling broken promises of the past.
“It’s the jobs, it’s the minority business support, it’s the 50 million dollars in community benefits that’s embedded into it. It’s the apprenticeships, and it’s all those things that speak to inclusive progress for the entire community, and that’s why I fully support it,” Mayor Welch said.