Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hillsborough Ready to Talk Rays...and Media Mistakes

With Hillsborough County commissioners due to take up the Rays' Stadium Saga today, it's worth taking a look back at some media misfires the last few days:

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board chimed in again, commenting that the Hillsborough developments were long overdue.

But in-between some valid points, the editorial assumes that "The Rays want to talk." Yet, St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster has contended that if the team doesn't like it's contract, they should suggest a fix to him....and they haven't jumped at that opportunity. So aren't both parties just as much to blame?

Plus, am I the only one who realizes the Rays are still bound by the iron-clad contract and won't be able to accept Hillsborough's invitation to talk?

UPDATE: A day later, the Trib editorial board echoed the Times and blamed Foster for inaction. It's certainly not the first time the Tampa-based paper has lobbied for a move across the bay. But suggesting the Rays could be contracted or that the team doesn't owe it to the region to actually prove financial struggles is irresponsible.

The Trib even cites White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf as an influential leader who wants to contract teams - the same Jerry Reinsdorf who made St. Pete look foolish before admitting "a savvy negotiator creates leverage. People had to think we were going to leave Chicago."

Contraction ain't happening. Period.

Also worth pointing out: WTVT in Tampa took Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan on his word that the Rays are "a $200 to $300 million a year economic engine."

Aside from the number being rather arbitrary, and aside from the fact that you'd never find a reputable economist to back up those numbers....I don't even think the Rays would agree with those numbers. If they did, and they one day broke their contract with St. Pete, the buyout and/or damages to the city would be in the billions.

Ken Hagan and the rest of the Hillsborough Co. commission will discuss the Rays Thursday morning at 10:30.

1 comment:

  1. Noah,

    In 2008 the Rays retained the firm of Arduim, Laffer & Moore Econometrics, to conduct a study to illustrate the economic impact Major League Baseball on Tourism in the Tampa Bay Area.

    As part of that study, which was presented to the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council in february of 2009, they assert that "Total annual expendutures of out of town tourists who go to baseball games and visiting baseball teams: ~$136.5-~$212.5 million".

    In it's Conclusions on Rays' Impact page the Arduin, Laffer & Moore study references the "Klages 2008 study found the Tampa Bay Rays have a similar impact: $298.1 million" (this refers to the Economic Impact of Baseball on St. Petersburg / Clearwater Area Tourism 2008 Baseball Study, which was commissioned by the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council in 2008 and conducted by Walter J. Kalges, Ph.D. from Research Data Services, Inc. and presentes to the TDC and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater at the December 10, 2008 meeting).

    I have copies of both studies.