Monday, February 4, 2013

Romano: "Hey, Mayor: Get real. Hey, Stu, you, too."

John Romano returned to a familiar topic this weekend: encouraging St. Pete and the Rays to break the stadium stalemate.

He blames both Mayor Bill Foster and Stu Sternberg for the four-plus-year-long logjam that has produced nothing but hundreds of headlines.  Romano does a good job explaining why neither side has any reason to budge right now, similar to this site's "what's going on in Bill Foster's head" and "Stu Sternberg's head" posts from 2011.

But then Romano writes, "neither side is being realistic...Foster has the upper hand today, but he has to realize that won't last forever. And by playing defense instead of offense, he is doing more harm than good for St. Pete."

This seems to contradict his column from last April where he explained the seemingly-ironclad nature of the city's use agreement with the team.  Romano even admits this weekend that "It is exceedingly rare for a team to get a new stadium while still in the middle of a lease, but it has been done."

It can be perplexing sometimes why there is such a push for St. Pete to negotiate itself out of a contract 15 years early, but Romano has at least acknowledged the real-world repurcussions of subsidizing a new stadium.  But he'slso pushed for new stadium talks before.

And maybe - just maybe - if the stalemate is to be broken anytime soon, it would be with an interesting proposal Romano made Sunday:
One possible solution:
The Rays guarantee St. Petersburg earns minimum tax revenues from that Trop redevelopment through 2027. If the numbers fall short, the Rays are on the hook.

That gives the Rays incentive to help with the redevelopment, and it gives St. Pete a guaranteed cash flow.

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