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Developer set to introduce Rays ballpark plan Friday

Tampa Bay RaysDeveloper Darryl LeClair is set to unveil his new-ballpark plan for the Tampa Bays Rays Friday at a special St. Petersburg City Council meeting, and it’s safe to say no one has a clue about what he’ll propose.

LeClair has briefed city and council officials about the outlines of his plan, but it doesn’t sound like anyone really has a grasp on the specifics — like how the $600-million facility will be funded or how parking needs will be addressed — at this time. We know he’s proposing to build a new ballpark on a 12-acre lot in the Carillon Business Park, in the northern part of St. Pete. Past that, it’s all up in the air in terms of financing, logistics and more.

We all know a new ballpark can be built on a small lot — see Target Field — but the situation in St. Pete isn’t really analogous. For starters, Target Field was built on an urban site with 7,700 nearby parking spots, easy freeway access and a light-rail terminal across the street. None of these are present at the Carillon location — which is why it should be fascinating to hear what LeClair pitches.

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