Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tampa Has Money for New Stadium...But Not Much

Richard Danielson reports in today's St. Petersburg Times that the City of Tampa has told local chambers of commerce that it could help dedicate $90 to $100 million over 20 years to a new baseball stadium.

It may sound good at first blush, but not when you realize a new stadium could cost upwards of $550 million. And a potential buyout of St. Pete's use agreement could tack another $100 million on top of that.

It echoes what I wrote 11 months ago today: land isn't the problem in the stadium saga, funding is.

Danielson mentions other funding avenues such as Pinellas County's bed tax, Hillsborough County's Community Investment Tax (sunsets in 2026 and would need to be re-authorized by voters), rental car taxes, and parking surcharges. But in all likelihood, all of the above would be necessary to fund a state-of-the-art stadium.

Which brings up the question - would one community be willing to help pay for a new stadium on the opposite side of the bay? At this point, the answer is a resounding no, and it's become the single-biggest frustration of Rays brass over the years.

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