Friday, August 9, 2013

Buckhorn, Hagan Talk Stadium Saga and Subsidies

It was merely the opening statement, but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough Co. Commission Chairman Ken Hagan made a case Friday for the Rays to put up or shut up.

While two of the area's top officials don't even have permission to speak to the Rays yet, they're making plans to launch a stadium search committee to figure out how to get a stadium deal done in Downtown Tampa.   And they're calling on the Rays to put up huge sums of money to make it happen, too.

Buckhorn suggested the Rays should pay between $200 and $300 million for a new stadium - a figure that could be nearly half of the cost of a new facility, but also double what the team was previously willing to pay in 2008. 
For what it's worth, the Rays still aren't commenting on this week's developments and told me in January they had "no idea" how much they'd contribute - or make - from a new stadium.

And even more importantly, how much will Buckhorn's numbers change over the next few years?  Typically, they drop while a city's contributions tend to climb.

Now, in Buckhorn's defense, his office provided me the numbers on downtown TIF financing that would, in fact, likely bond between $100 and $150 million over 30 years.  It clears up that little tiff about the TIF from earlier this week.

But $300 million from the Rays is not only unlikely, it's also not nearly enough if Buckhorn keeps his word to only spend $100-$150 million in existing revenues.  Hagan has said no public financing for a stadium, so don't count on county revenues (until he changes his mind).

So maybe the stalemate is coming to an end...but it's still a "Stadium Standstill" because financing this deal will be darned-near impossible without huge public subsidies.

Oh, and one more question....with the Rays consistantly pulling in some of the top profits in baseball and MLB's national television revenue exploding and 14 more years left on the Trop's contract...why is everyone in such a rush to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to increase attendance by a few thousand people a night?


  1. Noah,

    Why are you in such a rush to posture public money to build the new stadium? If Stu wants a new stadium, let him pay for it - 100%

  2. Wow, what a article! It's wasn't like it was the 5th time you repeated it, lol. And for the 10th time, it's not much about "increasing attendance by a few thousand", it's about selling more quality of tix, but you probably didn't read that any where to re-report that, and it's probably to positive of a fact to put on this blog... lol
    And to Scott, it won't be fair to the Rays for Tampa to profit so much w/o any investment, plus it's about control of the park so Stu doesn't build some ugly place that would leave the Rays bankrupt & a big eye sore in Channelside...
    Plus you know Scott when the Rays move to Tampa, your going to pay double the amount in taxes, there will be no police or ambulances to help you anymore, and your streets & sidewalks will start noticing potholes w/ no help to fill'em... lol

    1. Of course they want to sell more expensive tickets. It's been discussed here plenty. But that's why its silly to talk about attendance in the first place...because its revenue that counts, not attendance....and the Rays are doing well on that front.

  3. B.dufala do you think they will get a new ballpark and if so where so you think it will be?

  4. The median income in Pinellas is almost identical to the median income in Hillsborough. Where they're going to get all these people to buy even more expensive tickets, I do not know. But best of luck to them, should they get it. It will be their headache then.

    1. Brendan,

      Yep, we just add the new headache to the migraine we already have - RayJay

    2. Newsflash! Brendan, it's about corporation support, getting the rich to spend more on better luxury boxes, more $ through advertising, etc., not "more exp. tix", there will be $12 tix at the new Trop just like it is now...