Mayor to pitch new plan to keep Tampa Bay Rays in St. Pete

New York Yankees' Chase Headley steals second base ahead of the tag by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller, left, during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The mayor of St. Petersburg intends to present city leaders with a new, dynamic plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in the city.

Mayor Rick Kriseman will present the so-called ‘Baseball Forever’ plan to city leaders at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

On Wednesday night, he unveiled the plan to fans at Ferg’s Sports Bar.  They were ecstatic.

“You have the opportunity, if you’re the Rays, to have a stadium, first off, that you create an entire community around, but you’re also tied into the new Pier District, 8 blocks from what historically has been our downtown,” the mayor said.

According to the mayor’s office, the pitch is a 43-page presentation responding to the Rays’ 2016 ‘New Ballpark Site Evaluation Process’ document.

That’s an overview of the Tropicana Field site’s potential as a home for the team, and includes letters of support from many of Pinellas County’s largest employers.

HSN, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Nielsen, Raymond James and Valpak are among the 15 corporations that are committed to keeping the team in St. Petersburg, the city explained.

The meeting gets underway at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Petersburg City Hall.

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