Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tampa's $100 Million for a Stadium is Only Worth $50 Million

Leave it to the nation's top stadium subsidy watchdog, Neil deMaus, to pick out this nugget:
The $100 million in Community Redevelopment Area money (a slush TIF-style fund that earmarks downtown property taxes for development projects) that Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn wants to dedicate to a Rays stadium is actually worth $100 million over 30 years, not up front.

That’s a huge difference. Paid out over 30 years, $100 million is enough to finance maybe $50 million or so in upfront costs, depending on what interest rate you get on stadium bonds. Which means that if you assume a $600 million stadium and that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg will put in $200 million — a number he seems to have managed to get reified in the sports media, though so far as I can tell he came up with it out of thin air — there’d still be $350 million unaccounted for, even if Buckhorn manages to wrest the CRA money away from other projects eager to tap it.
If the Rays want to play in Tampa before 2027, that $50 million might cover the check to St. Pete for breaking their contract early.  Which means you may be looking at a $400 million funding deficit - way bigger than any rental car or hotel tax increase could cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment