New Rays stadium plan unveiled today

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Saint Petersburg residents can get a glimpse of a proposed Tampa Bay Rays stadium today, when a presentation is made at the Hilton St. Petersburg, in the Carillon Park area, reports William Mansell of Patch.

The St. Petersburg City Council will hear a presentation from Darryl LeClair and CityScape about developing a stadium in the Gateway area of St. Petersburg. The public is welcome to attend the presentation, which stats at 1:30 p.m.

In August, the Council voted 7-1 in favor of an unusual resolution that pledged that the city would not sue LeClair and CityScape for presenting its Rays stadium plan.

Whether the plan will be welcomed by the public is another question. In a recently released survey from StPetePolls, a majority of respondents (57.9 percent) said they do not want a stadium in the Gateway area of St. Pete.

Because the Rays’ lease with the city has not expired, CityScape cannot have negotiations or talks with the Rays.

The City Council vote allowed the city council to hear the presentation.

“What this does, we believe, is protect the integrity of our use agreement,” said City Attorney John Wolfe about the city’s agreement with the Rays prior to the August vote. “It allows you to hear a proposal form the developer, but (does) not allow them to talk to the Rays directly.”

Wolfe and the city administration fear that allowing the Rays to negotiate with stadium developers directly could lead to the Rays not only leaving St. Petersburg but also the entire Tampa Bay area.

“The Rays and the Times want us to allow them to talk to Tampa,” Wolfe said in August. “All that does, if that provision is set aside or waived, both the Times and Tampa are really helping to allow the Rays to talk to anybody in the country.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.