Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rays-to-Tampa Momentum: Day 4

Lots of opinion in the papers today after three days worth of Rays-to-Tampa talks...

In the Tampa Bay Times, the region's largest newspapers, it's all about pushing regional pride.  In fact, the editorial board mentioned some variation of the word "region" six times in six paragraphs.  That said, a new stadium may not get built without a regional approach - a regional tax, more specifically - so time to get talking now if the people want it to happen.

The Times also opined:
It took outside pressure for Foster to adjust his approach. He acknowledged to the Times editorial board this week that efforts by the county commissions in Pinellas and Hillsborough, and the St. Petersburg City Council, to break the stadium stalemate had an effect.
This comes as no surprise since public pressure is all part of the blueprint so many other teams have used to get stadia built on someone else's dime.  But it is nice to see Tampa and St. Pete cooperating (to a degree) rather than competing for this resource.

The editorial board of the Tampa Tribune wrote this morning that some outstanding questions need to be answered before plans for a new stadium progress too far...and they're right:
Will the team fare better in Tampa than in St. Petersburg, where attendance routinely ranks near the bottom despite winning teams? Will there be sufficient corporate support? Can the region financially support three major league sports franchises? Can a stadium be funded with minimal costs and limited risks to taxpayers?
I'm not sure the answers to these questions.  I have theories, but so does everyone.

The Trib also suggested the ever-popular rental car taxes, hotel taxes, and ticket surcharges could cover the public portion of a new stadium, as to avoid a significant burden on taxpayers.  Except, not only could these revenue streams be used to pay for other local needs, but I've explained before why ticket surcharges are the last thing an MLB team wants to use to finance a stadium.

Unless Tampa finds a way to reinvent the wheel and finance a stadium in ways no other team has done before, you're probably looking at a real tax committment (not my words)....or another stadium in Pinellas County, where hotel taxes bring in more revenue.


  1. Why won't Hillsborough county push to put an extension of the half cent sales tax on the ballot for 2014? I can't see people taking it off the table for a half cent. That money would easily service the debt of the new stadium. They can forget about asking the hotels for any money. They are forking over enough already for that Bollywood deal.
    The truth is Hillsbourough has no plan but if they don't get moving quickly it won't happen at all.
    They can also forget a regional tax. That won't happen either

    1. Think one reason might be that the sales tax is one of the most regressive taxes there is, disproportionately impacting those that can least afford it. Those hardest hit by even a half-cent increase in the sales tax are the least likely to ever find themselves at a new Rays stadium.

      But in this brave new world of income inequality not seen since the twenties, it wouldn't surprise me they go that route. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

    2. Expect hotel taxes, property taxes, and car rental taxes to be the popular targets - they're sold as "taxing visitors, not us"

    3. Noah,

      Please explain how 'property taxes' translates to 'taxing visitors'?


  2. Brendan stop worrying about these low income people with 4 and 5 kids who cant support there kids. We need to take a percentage of welfare benefits to pay for a rays stadium. People on low income need to take responsibility. Improve your life or shut up!!!

    1. I very much want low income people to take responsibility and improve their lives. That's why I'd prefer giving them a half-cent break on their sales tax, versus using it to help make a rich man richer.

    2. Brendan - RIGHT ON!

      Anonymous - How about identifying yourself? Are You Joel/Bryan/Edward Glazer or Stu Sternberg? You are definitely not Jeff Vinik. If you are going to make such incendiary remarks, at least have the guts to identify yourself!

    3. Anonymous,

      Just wanted to add - Identify yourself or SHUT UP!