The Tampa Bay Rays have been let out of their Tropicana Field contract and are now free to consider stadium sites outside of Tampa Bay, a city council ruled Thursday.
The passed proposal allows the Rays to leave Tropicana Field up to 12 years early, if they choose, as their contract runs until 2027. The team is free to look inside Pinellas and Hillsborough county.
The plan will require the team to pay a $5 million demolition charge, and $4 million per year once they vacate the stadium. So, if they left in 2016, they would pay $53 million. If they vacated in 2020, it would be $33 million.
This is a third more the amount that was previously proposed and rejected in May.
A spokesman for St. Petersburg, Fla. mayor Rick Krisema told the Tampa Bay Times that no meeting with the Rays has been scheduled to discuss the council’s plan.
- Kenny Ducey