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Baseball Player

Rethinking the Rays Hines Proposal for the Gas Plant.

A $1.6 billion cost to St. Petersburg.

We love baseball...but the deal is not fair to taxpayers.
We want a fair deal for everyone.

Current Deal - Unfair for St. Pete Taxpayers

  1. Rays rent the stadium for free ($0 dollars).

  2. City pays for part of stadium cost plus intrastructure- Rays keep all the revenue.

  3. Rays don't share profits if the team is sold.

  4. Rays/Hines buy the development rights for the non-stadium land for $105M (well below value).

  5. Rays/Hines buy the development rights for the non-stadium land in a partnership w/o disclosing the identity of the partners.

  6. Rays/Hines can sell development rights for the non-stadium land to any third party without city approval (as soon as the first day after contract execution).

  7. City can't terminate the Rays/Hines' development rights for the non-stadium land, no matter what.

  8. 10 acres of green space.

  9. No traffic congestion and parking study before the closing. What's replacing 6,000 lost spaces.

  10. No guaranteed affordable housing.

Proposed Deal - Fair for St. Pete. Taxpayers - Save $1.6 billion

  1. Rays pay rent over 30 years to offset $400 million lost St. Petersburg real estate taxes.

  2. Rays share revenue to offset $700 million borrowing cost for stadium and infrastructure investment.

  3. Rays share the profits if the team is sold.

  4. Rays/Hines buy the development rights for non-stadium land for fair value ~ as much as an additional $500M.  Get a new appraisal. 

  5. Rays/Hines disclose any partners buying the non-stadium land.

  6. Rays/Hines can't sell non-stadium development rights w/o city approval.

  7. City can terminate the non-stadium development rights for reasonable causes.

  8. At least 16 acres of green space - 20 better. 

  9. Traffic congestion and parking study before closing.  

  10. Guaranteed affordable housing. 

Green Suede

Dealmaker 101: From an Insider. 


What's the Debate About?

The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team currently plays in Tropicana Field on the 86-acre Gas Plant property, with the balance of the land used for parking. St. Petersburg is considering a proposal from the Tampa Bay Rays and Hines, a real estate development company, to redevelop the property - replacing the existing Tropicana Field baseball stadium with a new stadium on about 22 acres, and developing the balance of the 64 acres with housing, offices, parking garages for the stadium, and other uses. 

What's this proposal going to cost the residents of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County?

A staggering $2.4 billion in taxpayer resources. 

Here's how the current Rays Hines proposal breaks down.... 

    $704 million in St. Pete's cost to borrow its share of stadium and infrastructure cost.

     The Rays will keep all revenue from the stadium (except $1 million/year to the county).

    $411 million in lost value of 30 years real estate taxes. The Rays do not want to pay real estate taxes.

    $543 million with St. Pete selling the 64 acres to Rays/Hines for $543 million under market value. 

$587 million in the County's cost to borrow its share of stadium cost. 

$222 million in lost real estate taxes.

Stadium Concrete Seats

As Quoted In...

Read:  St. Pete’s Proposed Rays Stadium Deal is a Strikeout for the City; our perspective recently published by The Tampa Bay Times


Read:  The Rays stadium deal draws strong reactions from Tampa Bay residents | Letters, a compilation of letters to the editor written to the Tampa Bay Times

Read: Op-Ed When it comes to a new baseball stadium, St. Pete City Council should tell the Rays to pay their fair share, Creative Loafing Tampa

Rays Hines

Deal Analysis

What experts are saying...

Comments from major developers working in St. Petersburg, major commercial brokers, and community leaders:

The demographics are strong enough to successfully develop the property without a stadium.

I think the city knows it but has tied their reputation to the Rays - no matter the facts

Interest in the property would not be less without a stadium.  There is plenty of interest

Stadiums are boondoggles

There were developers who submitted proposals without a stadium, and they all said this is a better alternative for the property.

One of the worst sports deals ever done.

It’s the vitality of the area that is the anchor

It is the walkable communities nearby that make the property a success.

What is the Rays' current financial situation – to be able to assess their need for city and county support?

"The details of the city’s financing plan are murky at best. But whatever sources they use in the end, which adds up to around $1.66 billion, the city taxpayer is getting soaked. They are paying a lion's share of the deal while the Rays have a cakewalk."

"The city has given up almost all revenue to the Rays so that the Rays can pay their debt service costs but the city must reach deep into its pocket. The city has given up operating revenue from ticket sales, parking and naming rights to the Rays in addition to real estate giveaways and paying for all the infrastructure ($130 million). Incredible deal for the Rays."

"The real estate offsets for community benefits, greenspace, affordable housing, Booker Creek and demolition are absurd. The city is paying for all of this, not the developer, which is like ignoring who is making the money and turns community benefits on its head."

The stadium deal is a money pit and quite frankly, I'm a lot less worried about the name that we assigned to the pit that we throw public funds down.

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