St. Pete explores moving Tropicana Field, re-purposing current site

St. Petersburg's mayor says he wants to have plans ready in the event Tropicana Field is no longer necessary. 

The mayor issued the RFP, or request for proposals, formally inviting developers to submit plans for redeveloping the area. The plans are due within six months.

Plans for the 86-acre downtown property are to include new streets, sidewalks and mixed-use buildings.

“It is our intention to make sure that what we want to see on that site, what is important to us to have on that site, happens on that site,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, standing on the steps of city hall Monday.

Kriseman said he wants to see plans with contingencies for a new Rays ballpark and insists he wants the team to remain in the city.

“We want the team here in St. Petersburg,” said Kriseman. “If it’s on that site, great. If it’s in St. Pete and not on that site, that’s OK,  too. We’ll be prepared to address that.”

The team is legally obligated to play in St. Pete through 2027, but a deal for a new ballpark elsewhere in the city, or even on the present site with new development options, could affect when the Trop comes down and when new surrounding projects go up.

“Certainly depending on what happens with the team will affect how quickly development will happen and where,” said Kriseman.

The mayor said he’s met with Rays executives, but with or without them, the future will start to unfold around the Trop.

The Rays issued a short statement after the mayor’s press conference Monday saying, “We look forward to learning the details of the RFP.”