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Rays Planning New Stadium (Or Maybe Not)

There's been a lot of buzz about the Rays moving since they took the Tampa Bay type off their road unis, how about we put those to rest now...Per the Times:

ST. PETERSBURG - The Tampa Bay Rays are planning a $450-million stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront site of Al Lang Field.

The 35,000-seat stadium largely would be paid for by the team, which expects to contribute $150-million as well as the proceeds of the sale of development rights to Tropicana Field. The team hopes to attract a private developer to build a large retail/residential complex at the Tropicana Field site. The team also would seek as much as $60-million in future state sales-tax revenues, which would require approval by the Legislature.

Largely paid for by the team? That's excellent. New stadium? Awesome. Apparently it would be built where Al Lang is and balls hit over the right field wall would have a "splash landing" like San Francisco. Carlos Pena heaven. Speaking of splashes, new unis, new stadium, this off-season is going to be fun after all, nicely done Rays, nicely done, now let's upgrade the team.

[editor's note, by R.J. Anderson] For those wondering I believe Tropicana would also hold the naming rights for any new stadium; at the moment they pay 1.5 million per year on a contract that extends through 2026.

Contrary to reports, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says the Rays are not seeking to build a new stadium.
In a statement released tonight, Sternberg denied reports the team were discussing plans to build a new stadium at the site of Progress Energy Park.
''First and foremost, as Stuart Sternberg has said repeatedly, we will not demand a new stadium,'' the statement said.
''Secondly, Stuart has said on numerous occasions that Tropicana Field will not be a viable facility by the end of our lease term.
''We are excited about these potential developments and the all of benefits that they would bring to our community. Anything we do would certainly involve significant public input in all aspects of process.''

The comments don't really add up to me, but we'll see if anything comes of it.

Maybe so:

Team, state and city officials declined to discuss the project. Asked at Thursday's uniform unveiling about a new waterfront stadium, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said: "If it can get done, I'm open to it." At a hastily arranged news conference Friday night, Rays team president Matt Silverman confirmed they were going ahead with the project. "We are excited about the possibilities of these projects, and the economic benefits that they would bring to our community,'' Silverman said. "We would certainly involve the public in any process related to this.''

Basically it's the Trib saying the club is denying reports versus Topkin and the Times saying they're going through with it; through my experiences I'm going to give Topkin the benefit of the doubt.