St. Petersburg Mayor denies Rays' request to explore stadium sites

Mike Ehrmann

The Tampa Bay Rays requested permission to explore stadium sites in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, but St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster turned them down.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been denied permission to explore potential new stadium sites in Hillsborough County, reports Tampa Bay Online. The team had asked St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for permission to consider sites in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The Rays sought permission from the Mayor because their contract with the city of St. Petersburg requires them to play at Tropicana Field through 2027. Breaching that contract could result in significant legal costs and would only further delay any attempts at a new stadium. The city has been willing to consider a new stadium near the Carillon business park, which is within St. Petersburg, but they have rejected more distant sites.

The Carillon park project is spearheaded by developer Darryl LeClair and would include offices, retail space, apartments and a hotel. The proposal includes a 35,000 seat stadium that proponents say would work extremely well with the well developed industry in the area.

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