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Rays hint at Tampa ballpark plans at city meeting

Just days after presenting a redevelopment plan for the current Tropicana Field site in response to a St. Petersburg RFP, the Tampa Bay Rays provided a sneak peak at potential Tampa ballpark plans during a city meeting.

The Tampa virtual meeting, which included Hillsborough County administrator Bonnie Wise and Tampa Sports Authority President and CEO Eric D. Hart, didn’t yield many details about what the Rays have planned in terms of features and amenities, much less any ballpark specs, but it did provide a glimpse into the aesthetics of a new Tampa ballpark, as presented by Populous, and confirmed a Ybor City location–the renderings show a site north of the Ybor Channel–for the facility and a mixed-use development.

The location is not a surprise: We reported in October that a larger Ybor City site was under consideration as home to a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark, and this is the site. The 25 acres of waterfront property between Ybor City and the Florida Aquarium is currently in the process of being sold to entrepreneur Darryl Shaw. For those following the various plans for a potential Rays home, the name should be familiar: he’s been working with the team on assembling parcels for a new Rays ballpark on two occasions (here and here). This 25-acre waterfront site has also been considered in the past for a new Rays ballpark as well.

The renderings and initial details come after the Rays responded to a St. Petersburg RFP for redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site. The Hines/Rays plan calls for a 7-million-square-foot redevelopment plan and a mixed-use district, including more than 5,700 multi-family housing units, 1.4 million square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of retail space, 700 hotel rooms, 600 senior living residences, a 2,500-person entertainment venue and various civic uses. According to a Hines/Rays press release, “the site would include over 20 new urban blocks and provide public benefit on over half of the land area, in addition to nine sustainability strategies that will advance the city’s priorities and position St. Petersburg as a leading city for large-scale resilience.”

RELATED STORIES: Four plans for Tropicana Field redevelopment, including Rays pitch, received by St. Petersburg; St. Pete makes another run at Tropicana Field redevelopment; Tropicana Field site development halted; new bidding to include Rays ballparkManfred once again calls for sense of urgency about new Tampa Bay Rays ballparkManfred: Rays ballpark search now requires “sense of urgency”Rays pull plug on joint Tampa/Montreal tenancy after MLB Exec Council decision Rays envision a pedestrian-friendly Ybor City ballpark; Another Ybor City site considered for new Rays ballparkIs Tampa ballpark bid gaining momentum?It’s back: Rays revive Ybor City ballpark plan

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