Rays Pitch for a New Park

TAMPA -

It's been an active off-season for Rays baseball ever since word leaked that the team wanted to build a new, waterfront stadium in St. Petersrburg. Team owners have officially unveiled their dual redevelopment plan and will spend the next year pitching the idea to residents.

The plan: replace historic Al Lang Field with a new, environmentally efficient outdoor ball park and redevelop Tropicana Field into residential and retail space for a profit.

In a televised news conference, Rays Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs Michael Kalt acknowledged there are concerns about parking and summer heat. But, the biggest question: who will pay for the new park?

'We believe that this project can be financed without using any existing tax revenue or putting new tax revenue to work for this project,' Kalt said.

However, he's talking about St. Petersburg and Pinellas taxpayers. The $1-billion venture reportedly relies on some state tax assistance. Team officials will spend the next year promoting their dual redevelopment plan to St. Peteburg residents who must approve the land deal.

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