- As I wrote Friday, there are lots of ways to create new tax revenues for a stadium, but none of them would be terribly popular politically. And none of them alone get you even halfway to the $600 million price tag a retractable-roof stadium is expected to cost.
- Tampa's downtown Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) could bond somewhere in the $125 million range, although fluctuating interest rates could honestly put that anywhere from $100 million to $150 million. There's data available on the math in last fall's stadium finance caucus report. And that's the easy money, as long as Congress doesn't stop cities from using tax-exempt municipal bonds to pay for stadiums.
- It's a well-known fact that the Rays were willing to pony up $150 million for their ill-fated 2008 sailboat stadium in St. Petersburg, but there's also evidence the team was willing to possibly concede another $55 million in parking revenues. It's tough to tell if the Rays were really willing to give $200 million at the time, since they never gave specifics on whose pockets the parking revenue would come from, and we didn't know if the deal would include concessions back to the Rays (rent, upkeep, etc). But it's safe to say $200 million for a Tampa stadium would be reasonable; upwards of that might be possible.
The team hasn't opened its books to the public, yet its asking for public assistance. It's up to local elected officials to demand transparency from the team. I'm guessing Miami officials wish they demanded so much from the Marlins.
Would you co-sign a loan for a business partner without first asking about his/her finances? Would your bank ever agree to lower your mortgage without first checking your paystubs and bank statements for a hardship? Would you approve of someone collecting welfare who never had to prove if he/she had a shortage of income?