Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New York Times on Stadium Saga

Last week, it was Stu Sternberg. Today, it was Mayor Bill Foster's turn to appear in the New York Times.

In a recap of the last three years of the Stadium Saga, the Times quotes the typical voices on the debate without the typical cliches:
“Everyone has an opinion, but not one of the people running their mouths are paying the freight on the stadium, and they were not here when the team was the laughingstock of the league,” Foster said in his office not far from Tropicana Field. “I put a lot in contracts, commitments and loyalty. All I’m asking is for them to abide by the contract.”
Hillsborough Co. Commissioner Ken Hagen was also quoted:
"If they left our region, it would have a devastating effect on our community from a quality-of-life and economic perspective,” said Ken Hagan, a Hillsborough County commissioner who has pushed to speak directly to the Rays. “To stick our heads in the sand and hope the stadium issue resolves itself is shortsighted."
While losing the Rays would be a huge emotional blow to the region, I'm not sure how much it would hurt Hillsborough Co. economically. It might even help since Tampa residents would be a little more likely to spend their disposable income in the county.

One other paragraph jumped out at me from writer Ken Belson:
The concession stands are buried in rotundas far from the seats, the scoreboard is tiny and the surrounding neighborhood is about as far from Wrigleyville as possible. On occasion, the stadium’s catwalks have deflected balls hit high in the air, making the whole stadium — it is the only one in baseball with a roof that does not open — feel like a Rube Goldberg contraption.
I guess I try to see the cup half-full: the Trop has plenty of concession stands near the seats; the scoreboard is visible from most seats; and the neighborhood around the Trop provides countless more options than even the MLB's newest park in Miami. (Personal guilty pleasure: ordering Taco Bus pre-game then bringing it into the stadium - they allow it!)

It's another tired knock on the Trop and the Stadium Saga from a national news outlet. But at least this story acknowledges the arguments against a new stadium while pointing out all of its flaws.

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