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A bidding process to redevelop 86-acre Tropicana Field site was scrapped by the Mayor of St. Petersburg Ken Welchwith the intention of reopening the auction at include a new Tampa Bay Rays baseball stadium.

There’s no direct indication that this action was taken at the behest of Rays ownership, and it could be that Welch wants to have something tangible on the table as the Rays continue to assess the future of the team. With Tampa County and Hillsborough officials saying they’re preparing to woo the Rays with a solid financial offer–although at the end of 2021, with nothing tangible yet on the table-Welch may want to be able to offer an alternative.

There has been talk of low-key talk about the Rays’ time in Tampa Bay, more in terms of informal informational talks than anything else. But with Rob Manfred once again taking the mic and announcing that there needs to be a sense of urgency about a new Rays baseball stadium, and that Tropicana Field’s lease is ending after the 2027 season, the team is on time to make a deal.

Changing conditions also caused Welch to cancel old tender and issue a new one, per a statement from his office:

“As county commissioner, I was fully engaged in this process – attending meetings and presentations, speaking with the Kriseman administration and potential development groups in my role as county commissioner whose district was based in Saint PETERSBOURG. I am impressed with the efforts of the two finalists in the current RFP process – Midtown Development and Sugar Hill Community Partners. They have listened to our community and responded with their vision for the development of these 86 acres in accordance with our community’s needs for housing, office space, meeting space, green space and impactful economic development, including inclusive opportunities for local and minority communities. businesses. There has also been strong community engagement in developing a vision for this generational project,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth T. Welch.

“However, our environment has changed in many ways since the initial RFP was issued in July 2020, and we need to ensure that the RFP responds to our current environment and realities and incorporates the most up-to-date information. .”

Some of these changes include a reassessment of the need for major office space at a time when many companies are allowing more workers to work from home, the need for affordable and labor housing, the rising cost construction projects and the changing nature of community benefits. in modern economic development. (If anything sounds familiar, it should be — the Oakland A’s are tackling the same issues by developing a new Howard Terminal ballpark.)

With the previous RFP scrapped, a new version of the RFP is now tentatively scheduled for August, according to Welch’s office.

RELATED STORIES: Manfred Again Calls For A Sense Of Urgency Regarding New Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Stadium; Manfred: Searching the Rays ballpark now requires a “sense of urgency”; Rays end joint Tampa/Montreal lease after MLB executive board decision; Rays envisions pedestrian-friendly Ybor City baseball stadium; Another Ybor City site considered for new Rays ballpark; Is Tampa’s ballpark supply growing? ; It’s back: Rays revive Ybor City ballpark plan;

About Kevin Reichard

Kevin Reichard is the founder and publisher of Ballpark Digest.