Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gerdes Proposes $5M More for Rays Deal; Read it Here

St. Pete Council Chair Charlie Gerdes has finished his revised MOU that he hopes will convince four of his fellow councilmembers - and the Rays - to move forward with a search for a new stadium in both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The proposal {PDF: read it here} would sweeten the previously-negotiated deal Mayor Rick Kriseman struck with the team - a deal the Rays said they would not consider sweetening - by forcing the franchise to commit more money to St. Pete if they relocate within Pinellas or Hillsborough counties, but outside St. Pete city limits.

The Rays did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.  It is not clear if any of the four councilmembers who have been steadfast in their opposition to the mayor's deal would reconsider Gerdes' proposed terms and join the four members already supporting a compromise.  Five of eight members need to approve the deal for the Rays to amend their current deal.

Gerdes proposes the Rays to pay $2.5 million for every year they leave St. Petersburg early, plus an additional $1.4 million per year from the time they determine to leave St. Petersburg to the time they vacate the property.  If they stay in St. Pete city limits, they wouldn't have to pay any fees.

So if the Rays were to hypothetically decide to move to Tampa in Dec. 2016, then open a new ballpark in April 2019, the new deal would bring the city around $25.5 million, versus only $20 million or so under Kriseman's compromise.

Gerdes is also proposing the Rays forgo all development rights to the Tropicana Field site unless they build their next stadium in St. Pete.  That could address one sticking point for some councilmembers.
An interesting impact of the deal: it would apparently cost the Rays' the same price to relocate within Pinellas County, but outside St. Pete city limits, as it would cost the team to relocate to Tampa.

That could dramatically increase the cost of a potential Rays stadium at Mid-Pinellas' Toytown landfill, on the edge of both St. Petersburg city limits and a pair of bay bridges.  Previously, there had been a general assumption St. Pete would allow the Rays to relocate just outside the city without a significant penalty

Of course, everything is negotiable.

St. Pete council will discuss Gerdes' newest proposal next Thursday, Oct. 22.  And if that fails, the Rays could get a reprieve if Lisa Brown-Wheeler wins her city council race on Nov. 3.

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  1. So, the same cost to move to Pinellas, Tampa or Montreal? Allons-y

  2. Here is Kennedy proposal.

    More money and must be approved before 2016 season opening.