The new tweaks to the 2015 deal:
- The Rays cannot sign a deal for a new home in Pinellas or Hillsborough counties for at least 6 months "in order to give the city of St. Petersburg and our community an opportunity to make our case that the Rays' current location, enhanced by future development, is the best long-term location." The Rays also cannot leave St. Pete before 2018.
- The Rays will pay 50% (up to $100,000) of a "city-directed master plan for the Tropicana Field site" redevelopment.
- The Rays are eligible for Trop-related redevelopment incentives if they stay in St. Pete.
There are no changes to the annual penalty payments if the Rays leave St. Pete before 2027 - they remain at approx. $2M/season ($4M for 2018; $3M/yr for 2019-2022, $2M for 2023-2026; $0 for 2027). Once again, that figure has been poorly reported and is also significantly less than other teams have paid to break their stadium contracts.
You know, it's good to see Mayor Kriseman bringing councilmembers into the process early enough for everyone to have plenty of time to vet and think about the deal before discussing it publicly.
On the other hand, Kriseman claims he didn't create a single public record during months of talks with the Rays, even up until 1 p.m. today when I requested any public records from his office. I get his desire for secrecy on this...but transparency suffered on this one, and secrecy tends to only benefit the pro club, not the taxpayer.
So next up - at least five of the eight councilmembers expected to vote for the measure, possibly as early as next Thursday. Shadow of the Stadium will continue to bring you the latest!
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