Thursday, October 20, 2011

Orlando Jumps Back Into Stadium Saga

Let's put aside the fact the last time WFTV-TV in Orlando reported the city could be pursuing MLB baseball, several teams laughed at them. Instead, let's pretend there's some credibility to Mayor Buddy Dyer's claim that Orlando would support the Rays better than Tampa Bay.

What Dyer fails to recognize is an appetite for another pro team doesn't equate to ability to pay for one. Even in the tourist capital of the U.S., Orlando is on the verge of being economically overextended.

When the bedtax didn't produce the same revenue the city expected the last few years, the city had to table part of a performing arts center project to pay for the bonds on Amway Arena.

Think all those tourists would snatch up Orlando Rays tickets? They didn't when the minor-league Orlando Rays played there. Plus, I can attest the drive from Disney to Downtown Orlando at 6pm is much worse than the drive across the Howard Frankland Bridge from Tampa to St. Pete. And how many Europeans do you know that flock to baseball games when they visit the States?

Then there's the question of whether Orlando residents would regularly go to games themselves. The metro area has significantly less disposable income than the Tampa Bay area and its a significantly smaller television market too.

The only thing Orlando could really provide the Rays right now is leverage. Because we all know the only way teams get publically-funded stadiums is by "blackmailing" cities with a competing city.

There is one more thing all this Orlando talk could provide.....laughs if "Baseball-to-Orlando" guy returns.

1 comment:

  1. False claim that the "only way" teams get pubic money is through blackmail. In more than half the last 50 public stadiums in the big four sports, public money was freely offered by governments/taxpayers without even a hint of blackmail. (In Tampa Bay, see, TB Lightning and TB Rays current stadium deals).