Now that we know who the mayor is, this is just a cut and paste out of a previous article that can be read in its entirety here.
I am fully aware of the desire of the Rays organization to have a new stadium, and equally aware of the respective economic impacts 1) for the owners with the construction of a new stadium, and 2) to the City by having a major league baseball team in St. Petersburg. Historically, in the late 80's and early 90's, I was a part of a team that sold seat deposits, and lobbied for the expansion of MLB to St. Petersburg. After a great effort, and many heartaches, we finally succeeded. With all of the community effort it took to get the team, we must exert as much, if not more, effort to keep this team in St. Petersburg. I will take a leadership role with our "partners and stakeholders" (our Citizens, Rays, MLB, Florida, Pinellas), to negotiate the use agreement of a new facility located in St. Petersburg, with construction beginning sometime after 2015, which encompasses all 85+ acres of the Trop site. Whatever the use and financing terms, it must be such that passes the muster of our citizen who may be asked to pay a portion of the bills. My terms: 1) approved by voter referendum; 2) construction to begin after 2015 (when the property is free and clear); 3) little taxpayer burden, with primary financing by the Rays, TDC, and bonds secured by revenues; and 4) constructed at existing Trop site. If we all do our jobs equitably and correctly, it should pass a vote by our citizens, but timing, location, design, and financing are critical elements.
Analysis: Candidate Foster’s plan contains more concrete details than any other and his history with Tropicana underscores a complete understanding of the issues. He is committed to keeping baseball at the current site, which the Rays and the ABC Committee have determined is no longer feasible. His statements regarding a potential financing structure are realistic and well balanced.