Hillsborough group working behind the scenes on Rays move

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The Tampa Bay Rays continue to eye locations for a new stadium in Hillsborough County. 

  • Baseball Committee for Hillsborough working behind the scenes on Rays move
  • Hillsborough commissioners set to vote on selecting financial firm 
  • Narrowing down possible stadium site locations is next move

The Baseball Committee for Hillsborough group says things are moving forward with attracting the team to the other side of the bay.

Within six months, according Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagen, a specific stadium site should be identified. 

"It’s our goal to have a plan to present to the county commission in about six months that will identify a specific location," Hagan said. "Financing, potential public uses as well as any development that may potentially come along with a new ballpark." 

On Wednesday, commissioners are expected to approve an investment firm so the county can start putting together financial packages for the top sites. That could include any assistance with a new ballpark or other infrastructure needed. 

For the last seven months, members of Hillsborough County’s baseball committee have worked to narrow down the best possible sites for the Rays on the opposite side of the bay. 

Ten possible locations were initially identified by the group. 

By next month, that list should be narrowed to the top two or three, Hagan said. 

"After working on this for nearly seven years, I am extremely optimistic that within a reasonably short amount of time we will be able to put together a plan that we can present to the entire county commission to consider that will keep the team in Tampa Bay for decades to come," Hagan said. 

At this point, the committee still has not ranked the proposed sites in terms of favorability. 

So it is still being determined if there are willing sellers or if any are cost prohibitive. However, once the committee has a financial firm selected, they can begin the narrowing down process. 

Bay News 9 – news

September 21, 2016 |

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