Friday, February 8, 2013

"Foster's Four Fallacies" on the Stadium Saga

As Mayor Bill Foster issued his words of warning to St. Pete council yesterday about the proposed "Pay to Stray" contract amendment with the Rays, he also warned the huge media throng of four fallacies that have been propogated by reporters, columnists, and sports talk-types.

All four misunderstandings have been addressed in this blog before, but the mayor wanted to remind everyone in attendance of "Foster's Four Fallacies":
  1. The city's contract with the Rays is a "use agreement," not a "lease."   It's an easy mistake to make (just look how often).  But even after the mayor re-educated the media, the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board still got it wrong in its critical recap of the council meeting, raising the question of whether the board even watched the whole meeting.
  2. The impact on St. Pete taxpayers will cease after Trop bonds are paid off in 2016.  Foster pointed to a 2008 study, conducted by the Rays, that indicated the team's annual economic impact on the area was in the hundreds of millions of dollars...and after St. Pete built Tropicana Field, its promised benefit was 30 years of that impact.
  3. Every year that St. Pete waits, it lessens its ability to negotiate. Foster echoed this Shadow of the Stadium post, saying "every year we wait is another year of baseball in St.Pete" (and Tampa Bay).
  4. The mayor & council have a fiduciary responsibility to the Rays first, then the Tampa Bay region, then the citizens of St. Petersburg. Foster, rebutting recent editorials that have implied he's being stubborn and selfish, reminded everyone that his first duty is to the taxpayers of St. Petersburg.  In fact, as reported here, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn just recently applauded Foster's priorities.


  1. I am looking forward to FanFest next Saturday and once again enjoying another season of Rays baseball (one of the uncounted Weekend Pak season ticket holder).

    I root for the success of the Tampa Bay Rays on the field (even though the ownership hates that field).

    But I vote, pay and enjoy the success of the city I have lived in since 1968.

    I have seen the Giants and White Sox pit St Pete against the home cities for their gains - sad to see the team I love do the same in the Tampa Bay area.

  2. I could only imagine being as blessed to actually live in St. Pete, not only because of how nice it is, but live right down the road from the Trop. Though, the stadium debate is what it is. St. Pete is ranked 77th in the US for city pop., and declining, while Tampa is 53rd, and has the 13th highest increase in population, and at 77th, St. Pete has the 3rd lowest population in America with a pro team only to Salt Lake City, and Green Bay, while being surrounded by mostly water. Imagine the population difference 20-30 years from now...