Rays say stadium would promote $1 billion in investment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A new waterfront stadium and
redeveloped Tropicana Field could bring $1 billion in investment to
St. Petersburg's economy, according to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The city released a 600-page document on Friday outlining the
team's plans for the proposed $450 million ballpark and the
redevelopment of the Rays' current home.

The plan would create 2,500 permanent jobs and 14,000 temporary
construction-related jobs. The redevelopment of Tropicana Field
would attract a million square feet of new retail, office and
residential development. That would generate more than $800 million
in new property and sales tax revenue over the next 35 years,
according to the document.

The figures are from an Oct. 22 letter to the city from Michael
Kalt, the team's senior vice president for development and business
affairs. The letter was part of the document release on Friday.

"We have spent almost a year developing a plan which we believe
will not only solidify the future of the Rays in St. Petersburg for
decades to come, but, more importantly, will also serve as a
powerful economic development engine for the continued growth and
expansion of the downtown core," Kalt wrote.

The Rays envision a 35,000-seat stadium on the current site of
Al Lang Field, the longtime spring training facility the Rays are
leaving next year. The team would like to see a new park in use as
early as 2012. Preliminary plans call for the new stadium to be
open, but equipped with sail-like material on a cabling system for
when it rains.