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City Council Moves Rays Proposal Forward by 7-1 Vote

The St. Petersburg City Council has moved the Rays proposal to build a new $450 million waterfront stadium on the site of Al Lang Field forward with a 7-1 vote. The only council member to vote 'No' was Herb Polson. The vote was the first of three the council must cast to place the proposal on the November ballot. The next vote is scheduled for July 17th. I'll post more stadium news a bit later on.

Rays Seeking Help on Stadium Proposal from Business Community

Rays President Matt Silverman is actively seeking out support from the downtown business community for the team's new stadium proposal, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports. "We need the business community to be ambassadors to move the project along," Silverman said. "It's hard for a baseball team to talk about economic development." For the most part thus far, it has been the team and its surrogate organizations that have been doing the talking in favor of the proposal, and while they've touted support from the business community in making their pitch, no one has stepped up from that sector to advocate loudly for the plan. Hopefully the Rays can garner some support here; it would give them immense credibility when they talk about the economic benefits of the plan.

More Stadium Stuff

There's a couple of interesting follow-up numbers for the stadium poll that appeared in yesterday's St. Petersburg Times. The Times story today mainly goes a bit more in-depth with the poll numbers. The most interesting numbers indicate that 78% of city residents feel they have heard "a lot" about the new stadium proposal, while 47% of those surveyed indicated that they had attended no Tampa Bay Rays games in the 2007 season. Other questions are targeted towards public support for various aspects of the proposal. The article is really just hard numbers, and it's worth checking out. Also worth looking at is the cover article in the Perspective section of yesterday's Times by Deputy Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens, who was the newspaper's city hall beat reporter during the process that resulted in the construction of Tropicana Field. He relates the stadium's completion to a wealth of progress in Downtown St. Petersburg, and suggests that the risks associated with the current stadium plan pale in comparison to those taken by the City Council in 1986. A very interesting read, and a good overview of where things were then, and where they are today, and how that relates to the ballpark situation.

Nine Trop stops

Steve Spears of the St. Petersburg Times lists nine cool spots to stop by at Tropicana Field.

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