Friday, April 23, 2010

Tampa Trib Wants a New Rays Stadium!

I don't always take myself seriously, but I always take my role as a journalist seriously. Media serves as the public's watchdog. But I'm embarrassed by the series of articles in the Tampa Tribune that is nothing more than propaganda for the Tampa Bay Rays' stadium efforts.

Sure, the Rays need a new home sometime down the road. And nothing in the Trib's coverage has been outrageously incorrect. But what's with the constant regurgitation of the ABC Coalition report? Sure, putting "Rays" and "Stadium" on your front page probably sells papers, but why cast aside your responsibility as journalists to become Tampa Bay's biggest cheerleader for a new stadium ?

4/23/10: "Trop lacks revenue streams to keep Rays competitive, experts say" - The "experts" the Trib quotes include Craig Sher from the ABC Coalition, Rays owner Stu Sternberg, a Twins executive who says their new stadium sells a lot of tickets, and a professor in Massachusetts whose expert advice was "people would just enjoy (a new stadium) more."

4/18/10: "Rays stadium buzz rarely includes how to pay for it" - Trib dedicates front page of Sunday paper to explaining why nobody is building a new stadium for the Rays yet. It's beacuse nobody has any money for a stadium right now. Real ground-breaking stuff.

4/4/10: "Off the field, Rays face major hurdles" - Trib Editorial Board puts the entire ABC Coalition report into an easy-to-read column, advocating leaders - in St. Pete or Tampa - to start planning for a new stadium now.

3/31/10: "Stadium is legitimate concern for Rays" - Sportswriter Joe Henderson echoes the ABC report and encourages leaders to get the ball rolling.

Again, I don't necessarily disagree with any of the specific articles or columns printed, but Trib - what gives? Why are you beating the dead horse when there's nothing new to report right now?


  1. I'd have to say because this is an issue (the stadium), and an issue that deals with hundreds of million dollars. If we want to keep the Rays in the "area" and do it right this time, then why wait until the last minute to discuss it. Just because the economy is down does not mean we shouldn't be proactive and start figuring out now on what it will take to keep the Rays here.

    I believe that one way or another that the Rays will be in a new stadium somewhere well before 2027. The problem will not go away if we close our eyes and ignore it, the Rays will.

  2. You bring up good points, but it seems no matter how much anyone wants to talk about stadium possibilities, the Rays are comfortable staying out of the conversation for now.

    There can't really be progress until they pull a seat up to the table....and I don't think it's the paper's job to control the dialouge.