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St. Pete City Council holds first Stadium Workshop

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A recap of the St. Pete City Council's workshop regarding the future of the Rays' home, and trying to make sense of it all.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Petersburg City Council met today today -- for the "first of many workshops" according to Councilman Charlie Gerdes -- regarding the fate of Tropicana Field and, what some people believe, the future of the Tampa Bay Rays. Councilman Wengay Newt seemed ready and excited to talk about the Rays:

One of the first points that was brought up was the growing concern of the city attorney representing both the mayor and the council. Now remember, the Mayor ordered city staffers to stop preparing for the workshop, and even said it was premature, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

It seems that there is some trust issues building between the council and Mayor Rick Kriseman, who has been in sole control of negotiating talks with Rays president, Brian Auld.

The talk continued between the councilmen and women of concern over the astronomical cost of building a new stadium, and solutions to offset that cost:

Councilman Karl Nurse was not supportive in this regard, even going on to say that he would vote against an increase to property tax to fund new stadium. Nurse has been a defender of the Rays' ability to search for a new stadium site with no restrictions. If the Rays should choose St. Petersburg when it's all said and done, we now see a bit more into his opinions on public funding. He did not state his view on other ways to fund a new stadium.

The council moved on to figuring out the economic impact in St. Pete of a new stadium for the Rays, which proved to be difficult:

The council then requested that Mayor Kriseman provide a study comparing the economic impact of the Rays leaving versus the team staying at Tropicana Field.

Throughout the workshop, only one non-Trop site was discussed, the developing neighborhood of Carillon, previously brought up by a private group to be a new stadium location. For those of you who do not know where that is, please see the map below:

*Please note that this is an approximate location using the zipcode.

But that location was shot down by a couple of council members:

The council's workshop was then winding down but there is both good news and bad news for the ending of this page of the Stadium Saga.

For more on the Carillon proposal, including quotes from the developer two years ago saying he'd moved on with his plans for the site, go here.

The good news:

The council did agree that transit was necessary for the team's future success, and St. Pete residents need to support a version of the Greenlight plan that includes increased bus service and local rail service in St. Pete and Tampa. An efficient and proper rail system from Tampa and throughout St. Pete would certainly benefit the Rays.

The bad news:

Nothing has changed, if anything the Council has merely dug in its heels. An economic impact study was requested of the Mayor's office, and the Council has made clear their intentions to keep the team exactly where they are -- likely using Tropicana Field's parking lot as the next site. I'm sure the team is pleased.

The saga continues...

Special thanks to Noah Pransky and his absolutely stellar coverage of the Stadium Saga. If you haven't already, please go read his blog, which is filled with an amazing surplus of information regarding this issue. Thanks also to Charlie Frago from the Tampa Bay Times for covering this event as well.