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Sign the Petition

Urge St. Petersburg to Renegotiate the Rays Hines Deal or Develop the 86 Acres Independently

Sign our Petition on Change.org Today

The City of St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and Hines, a real estate development company, are currently seeking City Council approval to redevelop the 86-acre Gas Plant site which currently includes Tropicana Field where the Rays play baseball. The development would include 64 acres for offices and businesses, residential properties (only a few of which will be considered affordable), a new Woodson African American Museum, and 22 acres for a new Rays stadium.

But the costs fall disproportionally on taxpayers, to the tune of $2.4 billion.

  • $1.66 billion from St. Petersburg taxpayers' that will be committed that would otherwise be available for other city priorities including storm water upgrades, housing, infrastructure, transportation, social services, a more significant commitment to the Black community, and tax relief.  

  • $808 million from Pinellas County taxpayers. 

  • Rays/Hines are buying the land well below its market value. 

  • The city does not receive any revenue from the stadium, including stadium naming rights and TV revenue, etc. The Rays ownership keeps all revenue.  (The county receives an insignificant $1 million per year licensing payment.)  

  • The stadium property does not pay real estate taxes.  

  • No other area municipalities, including Tampa, share in the stadium cost, even though the whole Tampa Bay region benefits from retention of the Rays.  

  • The proposal jeopardizes St. Petersburg’s ability to borrow funds in the future for emergencies. 

  • The stadium is not needed to successfully develop the property. 

  • The increased traffic and parking congestion in the Gas Plant area from baseball will be a negative influence on development of the rest of the Gas Plant site and would be a headache to the residents and businesses in the surrounding area.

The site is nationally significant due to its size and location in the heart of one of the most popular cities in Florida, in a vibrant walkable neighborhood. 

​We love baseball, but this is not a fair deal.  While it is a home run for Rays/Hines, it is not for St. Petersburg and Pinellas County.  It should be re-negotiated, or a more conventional “Do It Ourselves” development concept (with an estimated cost of $130 million to the city) should be considered, saving taxpayers $2.3 billion.

$2.3 billion - This is a massive sum that could be allocated towards other pressing needs within our community such as hurricane-resistant storm water systems, education, job opportunities, affordable housing and upholding our commitment to the Black community. 

We must remember that St. Petersburg is home to over 250,000 residents who rely on public services funded by their tax dollars. The potential diversion of these funds towards a single development project could significantly impact these services and ultimately affect the quality of life in our beloved city.

And for all the promises made in the Rays/Hines proposal, by the city’s own admission, similar promises were made when the current stadium was built but never fulfilled.

Therefore, we call upon the City of St. Petersburg to renegotiate with Rays/Hines or consider developing this land independently in a manner that respects fiscal responsibility and prioritizes community needs above all else.

Smart Baseball St. Pete means:

  • The Rays pay real estate taxes like all of us - the Rays are a private company.

  • The Rays split the team profits and share the profits if the team is sold - the city and county are paying for 1/2 of the stadium.  

  • Rays/Hines pays a fair price for the other 64 acres.

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