But at what cost?This watchdog-type of thinking is what you're used to from the Times, but as it turns out, this editorial had nothing to do with a Rays stadium. It was written about a proposed new $160 million aquarium in Clearwater.
(T)he bigger question is the viability of the project itself. Major private fundraising has yet to get under way publicly, the attendance projections appear optimistic, and...(it) also wants part of the (county's bed) tax money when the Tropicana Field bonds are paid off, and the competition for that revenue is stiff.
(The Mayor) remains supportive and says the (facility) "could be a game-changer''...
The important issues raised by the Times could prove to be quite productive for both the aquarium and the taxpayers of Pinellas County. But where are the same critical questions for a new baseball stadium when the Rays remain one of the most successful teams in baseball off the field as well as on it? So far, those questions have been largely absent.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Tribune editorial board admitted to cheerleading for a new Downtown Tampa stadium - something its editor denied back in 2010.
And while there's a separation between the paper's strong business writers and its opinion page, it should be no surprise the editorial board admitted "We’d like to see the Rays move to Hillsborough, particularly downtown Tampa — if objective analysis shows it would be a success here."
The Trib deserves credit for acknowledging the case has yet to be made for a new stadium, as well as the fact that progress remains unlikely unless Pinellas County leaders are included in all discussions too.
But whatever group is formed to tackle the questions surrounding a new stadium shouldn't just look at locations and financing, but also the appropriate number of tax dollars that deserve to go toward the new project.