Rays unveil financing plan


Just back from St. Petersburg City Council gathering where the first-place Tampa Bay Rays moved their proposal for a $450 million waterfront ballpark another step forward. This time it was a financing plan on how they and taxpayers will come up with that cash.

The news: The Rays aren't looking at using tax-increment funds generated by growth in the downtown area as was previously widely discussed. They are, however, looking to continue to get tourist taxes and other city dollars now devoted to paying off the Trop. The plan calls for using $70 million that the Rays expect from the sale of the Trop to a private redeveloper

Here's quick breakdown on the financing:

  • $150 million from the Rays (presumably in the form of rental payments over 30 years)
  •  $70 million from the sale of the Trop to retire that stadium's $13 million a year debt, which currently runs through 2016
  • $100 million from tourist taxes (which presumably would require county leaders extending it beyond its current sunset in 2016).
  • $55 million from parking fees generated at the new ballpark.

That last figure seems the shakiest; the Rays want the city to lease it thousands of city-owned parking spaces downtown on favorable terms so the team can resell them to fans.

Download the Rays Financing Plan Handout

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