He writes that the documents should give Stu Sternberg ammo that the team needs a new stadium to maintain competitive payrolls over the long-term. But in making his argument about the Rays' limited television revenue, Romano ignores the fact that the problem is likely to remedy itself in a few years.
From 2009 to 2010, Rays' television ratings have soared more than 70 percent. And while it doesn't mean a ton of extra money right now, it will in 2017 when they begin a new yet-to-be-negotiated television contract.
Then you have public-financing watchdog Neil deMause of Field of Schemes who provides an even sharper dissenting view:
So let me see if I can follow the logic: Tampa Bay taxpayers should give money to the Rays for a new stadium because, even though the team right now is both winning and turning a profit, there are other teams that are able to win the same and turn a profit while spending more? Does Florida have some sort of citizen right to throw $16 million a year at A.J. Burnett that I don't know about?Only time will tell which viewpoint is more accurate - and I happen to think there's validity to both - but the best perspective on the issue (echoing what I said two days ago) comes from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune:
I don't see why a sports owner doesn't have the right to a profit so long as he upholds the unwritten social contract with the community that demands that they try to put a winner on the field. The Rays have done that.The challenge to Sternberg now is continuing to balance that social contract with his bottom line...while increasing the pressure on local governments for a new stadium.