Last month, a real estate developer announced that he wanted to propose a new stadium in the Gateway area of St. Pete, west of the Howard Frankenstein Bridge (click on image at right). And while it is unclear if the Rays will be listening, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Rays fans will get their first look next week, at what could be the future home of the Rays…

The public will see designs for a privately designed stadium during a “special council meeting” on Sept. 28 at the Hilton hotel in the Carillon area…CityScape, a firm owned by real estate developer Darryl LeClair, wants to build the stadium in the Carillon business park just west of the Howard Frankland Bridge in the Gateway area. LeClair controls roughly 12 acres of vacant land there where a stadium could fit.

When we first heard about the new stadium proposal, the designs were said to be of an “enclosed stadium that can be air conditioned, with options for both a solid roof and a retractable one.”

But will the Rays be listening? Maybe.

Michael Kalt, the Rays V.P. Of Stadium Messes, has been “quietly meeting” with Pinellas County Commissioners. This is important because it is the commissioners that would have to approve a new stadium in Pinellas County.

However, one commissioner described her meeting as “very short” and “just about getting to know each other.” Another called it a “chit-chat session.” And Mayor Bill Foster wasn’t even aware of the meetings until the Times informed him.

In other words, let’s not get too excited yet. But at least somebody is doing something. And next week we could get our first look at what could be the Rays next home.

 
 

20 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    hey

    i live in the carrilon business park

    therefore I am for this

    however I don’t believe that the Carillon location will solve attendance woes in a meaningful way

    it needs to be in Channelside

  2. don says:

    The ONLY location viable for a multi-use Stadium in this Tampabay area….Rays you better go for it, or Stuie and AF will be back selling stocks and bonds..and Maddon back on the old age bench like Zimmer

  3. Rob says:

    Ugh – I really hope they don’t put it here. Only in the Tampa Bay area would we consider putting a stadium in a business park. Talk about not having any character or mystique. They might as well try to squeeze it in a strip mall between an Amscot and a laundromat.

  4. Michael says:

    I agree the business park is a pretty awful place from a “scene” point of view

    But it’s the only reasonable geographical location that would likely draw little to no ire from St. Pete city officials

    Tampa Bay can’t really help the fact that it’s a horrible service-driven dystopia with no character or culture… they just have to deal with it

    The people of Carrilon should be excited though, because if this gets built, that might mean that we’ll get more than two decent restaurants to eat at in a 5 mile radius

  5. Beazy says:

    Well, yenz can talk about this and debate about that, BUT the ballpark is going up in Channel side…

  6. nate says:

    Who in their right mind would want to put a a stadium in a business park! I mean how many businessmen do you know that want to leave work and walk directly to a stadium!!! Too many customers in close proximity!!!

  7. Dave L says:

    The hillsborough people will still cry and moan about having to cross the bridge.

    Too far from the water to have a water view.

    I dont see how this solves the Corporate Season Ticket Holder shortfall.

    All business parks are 100% evacuated after 5pm during the week and all weekend. Prolly has some decent pre exisiting parking thats the only Plus

  8. Dave L says:

    I have an idea to solve the attendence problem.

    This market will never fill a 40,000 seat stadium 80 times a year I dont care where you put it so why try?

    Build a 25,000 seat stadium which would suffice for 85% of the home games, make the place feel full always.

    Since on some dates the demand would for once outstrip the supply it may open up more attendance for less popular weekday and less attractive opponents games.

    Also staffing the Trop would be simpler since the attendance would be more uniform date to date and week to week. Parking would be more managable.

    I bet if you add up the total number of games this year that they went over 25k and the total ticket revenue, it would be a manageable figure.
    Also this way it would force fans to buy in advance for big games. they could also raise ticket prices on high demand weekend games and lower them on crappy Mariners Tuesdays games ( I know they do this to some degree already)

    • Rob says:

      This is actually a very good idea and it has proven to work in many other areas. When I was in college and working at Outback when they first opened in 1988 and there were two hour waits and the tenant next door left, I asked the proprietor why he didn’t rent the additional space, tear down a wall and add 12 more tables. He told me because they wanted people waiting 2 hours – it creates a perceived demand and attracts even more customers than if they doubled the size of the restaurant.

  9. Bob says:

    Vinick and his CA partners are quietly acquiring the land needed in Channelside to build the stadium, it looks like. I’m feeling pretty confident it will go there, and Hillsborough will trade cruise rights or another item to get the deal done. This gateway group does not look like they have the connections, experience, or financing to get a deal done of this size. Channelside almost for sure….

    • Beazy says:

      Not many other can see it like us, BUT the proof is in the pudding…
      This Pinellas co. proposal is just a political ploy to show there trying to…

  10. Burg says:

    This has a chance, a north St.Pete location always seemed like the best compromise.

  11. Peter says:

    What do you guys think about move to Orlando?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Honestly, if somebody offered to build Stu a stadium, and if Stu thought he could fight the Trop contract in court, he would do it in a heartbeat and change the team name to Florida Rays. But those first two things are unlikely to happen. At least not now. Maybe in 2-3 years things will change.

  12. Mulligan says:

    The Mets have ownership issues with the Wilpons. Stu is in New York. Vinik just moved his family to Tampa and has a minority ownership in the Red Sox which means he already has some ties to baseball. Eventually Stu will take over the Mets and Vinik will own the Rays. He will also own Channelseide. All signs point to a park there and evan as a St. Pete resident I would be in favor of this out come as I believe Vinik would be the best thing that could ever happen to this organization. The experience he has gained in hiring talented people to run the Lightning will assist him in building a first class operation. Plus Vinik is one hell of a guy!

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