His plan, according to the Times' Charlie Frago and WTVT's Steve Nichols: charge the Rays $1.4 million per year as they look for a new stadium in Pinellas or Hillsborough counties. Then, if they left St. Pete, they'd pay an annual fee - possibly in the "$2.2 million, $2.3 million" range - through the end of the current contract, which runs through 2027. All of the "tab" gets forgiven if they stay in St. Pete.
So if the Rays were to hypothetically throw out its first pitch in Tampa in 2020, Gerdes' deal would bring the city around $23.5 million, versus only $17 million or so under Mayor Kriseman's compromise.
Gerdes is also proposing the Rays forgo all development rights to the Tropicana Field site unless they build a new stadium in St. Pete.
Would those sweeteners be enough to flip one of four tough council votes? We may find out on Oct. 22.
As to whether the Rays would accept....they'd be foolish not to. But don't expect any warm comments from them on the new proposal - they'd essentially be negotiating against themselves on the payout...and we all know by now that only municipalities do that!
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