A private development group made up of investors and former stadium builders and designers unveiled plans to place a retractable roof stadium in the Carillon area of St. Petersburg, with hopes of keeping the Tampa Bay Rays in "the only home they have ever known."
The presentation lasted two hours and was attended by city council members, the media, and Rays Vice President of Development Michael Kalt, who declined comment on whether the Rays were interested in working with the CityScape development group that used their own time and money to put the plan together.
"We are glad people are taking an active interest in the long-term future of baseball in the Tampa Bay area," Kalt said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to having more discussions take place like this throughout the region."
The proposed stadium would sit on a 17.5 acre area of land owned by Darryl LeClair, who organized the CityScape group and proposal. It would seat 35,000 fans with steep rising stands that would keep seats close to the field, and boast beautiful views of the Tampa Bay. The plan also includes a large amount of non-baseball related buildings, including an attached hotel that would have rooms overlooking the field like in Toronto's Rodgers Centre.
The group claims that Carillon is an ideal location for a stadium, adding that they had research to suggest the area was a shorter and less congested drive during rush hours than Channelside in downtown Tampa, an area often cited as the best location for a new stadium.
The city of St. Petersburg has said they won't allow the Rays to leave Pinellas before Tropicana Fields 2027 lease expires, while the Rays have said repeatedly that they would explore any Tampa Bay stadium location but only as part of a process that includes all Tampa Bay locations.
More details of the plan can be found here: http://echelonre.com/rays-park-at-carillon/
So, DRaysBay-ers, what do you think of the plan?
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