Obama's new budget is due next week, in which he is set to recommend $53 billion for a US high-speed rail infrastructure - a bipartisan effort, which increases its likelihood of success in congress.
The Orlando-Tampa bullet train (voted down in '04) would receive ~$2.3B as proposed - one step closer to a new Rays stadium! Sounds like a great reason to start the conversation up once again!
Here's an awesome interactive site (using google maps) discussing potential locations: Where to build?
Note: There will be great difficulty in moving the team out of St. Pete (re: contract through 2027).
Channelside, by the Times Forum, is my favorite option - purely for downtown and waterfront reasons, but the traffic situation would be terrible. 275 already has enough issues between 5 and 7.
The Port would maintain waterfront potential and could be near a bullet train station, but it's far from traffic flow, and the land may be hard to procure.
Tampa Park Apartments would help improve Ybor. The city is trying to expand the "nice areas" and rid Ybor of it's trashy reputation, so this could bridge the gap. The location also works well as a rail terminus. Advantage of the downtown skyline may be trumped by the traffic flow issues.
Tampa Heights is in a poor neighborhood, but would be riverside and still in sight of the city.
Dale Mabry, next to Tampa International, could use Raymond James and Steinbrenner-Legends parking, but I would dislike the location for the same proximity.
The fairgrounds has the most public land available and would benefit from traffic access, but would be far from the urban center or a rail station. Advantages here include development options around the site and out-of-town travel.
Derby Lane, on the west side of the Gandy, could be the team's most practical option. The site already has a venue layout, but would sacrifice the allure of a waterfront stadium and the view of the city line. The Tampa side was just recently fixed up and turned into a rather nice area (great for residential development), but there may be a big concern with bridge congestion. Still, the location is close to the urban centers of both Tampa and St. Pete. While not ideal for a rail station, it is close enough to a rail stop that busses could remedy the issue. If St. Pete annexes the land into the city, contractual issues with the franchise could be avoided and pave an easier path for public funding.
Toytown, Carillon (by the St Pete airport), and the Jabil/La Entrada locations benefit from their proximity to 275 and expansive land options, but that's about it. None compare to the upside of the Gandy site (which is 3 miles from 275).
98 votes total view results
This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.