Monday, October 29, 2012

Otto: "Lure of Taxpayer-Funded Palaces Continues"

At the bottom of his Monday morning column, Steve Otto from the Tampa Tribune joins his colleague Joe Henderson in sympathizing with St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster:
In the "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree" department, I can understand why St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster told the Tampa Bay Rays he didn't want them sneaking across the bay and taking a look at possible venue sites for a new baseball stadium.

The poor mayor knows he doesn't have money or geography in his favor.

The siren song of new money, new movers and shakers ready to buy a luxury box or two, and most of all a state-of-the-art baseball arena would be difficult to shake. Owners and fans alike have been tossed against the rocks by promises of success if only they are willing to cough up a half-billion dollars to make it happen.

The lure of taxpayer-funded palaces continues. And it will happen, just as surely as local merchants will continue to suffer around the empty hockey arena and the University of South Florida follows through on its plan to pull out of Raymond James Stadium when its deal is up and the Bulls get their own new stadium, possibly near or even on the USF golf course.

That so much can be spent on stadiums and arenas when so many of us only want less traffic and storm drains that work is also difficult to understand. But, hey, there is always room for one more stadium, one more arena, no matter what the cost.

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