street. PETERSBURG — City officials and Tampa Bay Rays representatives on Wednesday had only one architectural firm to evaluate the new stadium.
The evaluation committee, made up of five St. Petersburg employees and three Rays representatives, met at the Campbell Park Recreation Center to grade the only two proposals received for architectural services for the new stadium: Populous, called the “stadium architect” in the Rays’ 2022 proposal to redevelop the area Historic gas station and MEIS engineers.
But on Nov. 7, Dan Meis, founder and managing director of MEIS Architects, wrote a letter to the city’s procurement office stating that his firm had decided to no longer operate. Involved. He said the proposed format of a 30-minute presentation would not allow enough time to explain “what we believe will be our particular strengths and qualifications for a project like this.”
“We have also seen and heard how dedicated the Rays are to their longstanding relationship with Populous, and how committed the city is to supporting this partnership, thus respectfully withdrawing our team from consideration,” Mays wrote. “We appreciate that you have provided the opportunity for other teams to compete, but sometimes it is the case in our industry that the qualified team is far ahead, making it very difficult for those other teams to justify the investment to throw their hat in the ring for consideration.”
According to the city’s bid Upon request, the city will review the purchase, which is required by state law, and select a firm on behalf of the Rays. The team will then begin contract negotiations with the top-ranked company.
Architectural design work is expected to begin this month and be completed by fall 2027. The Rays will bear the cost of “financing, developing, designing, constructing and furnishing” the stadium. The $1.3 billion indoor arena, open year-round, will be paid in part with general dollars: $287.5 million in St. Petersburg non-property tax dollars and $312.5 million in Pinellas County tourism taxes.
The evaluation committee met on November 1 to shortlist companies based on their qualifications. Committee members said they wanted more clarity on MEIS staff experience, staff availability and timeline, but ultimately decided to include Both companies are on the shortlist.
On Wednesday, the evaluation panel unanimously awarded near-perfect marks to Populous, rejecting it only because it was not a small business or a minority- or women-owned business. Representatives from Populous gave a presentation to committee members which was closed to the public prior to the evaluation meeting. Populous designed the Rays’ spring training facility in Port Charlotte.
“They could have mailed it, but they didn’t,” said City Engineer Raul Quintana, who chaired the meeting. “We had this great presentation as if this was a possibility for them. It was a great effort and a great presentation and one we will remember for some time.”
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Mays signed off his letter with the following: “We are convinced that our team can bring a unique and valuable perspective to this project. Given that this is a large and very complex development, with important design considerations that go beyond the mere technicalities of delivering an indoor stadium, we challenge the committee to consider the potential value of adding additional voices to “Your team is of design professionals. If another role materializes, we would be very interested in considering it.”