Sunday, September 15, 2013

Otto: Channelside Deal Accelerates Stadium Dreams

A lot of chatter this weekend about how the deal for the Channelside Bay (retail) Plaza will do wonders for the Rays Stadium Stalemate.  I've been skeptical.

And so apparently is the Trib's Steve Otto.  His Sunday column acknowledges the Channelside deal (if approved) will "move things along in the baseball stadium dream department," but Otto doesn't seem sold on the idea:
Personally, I figure a downtown arena might generate a few thousand more fans than the Rays are pulling in at Tropicana Field, but I don’t know that in the long run that is going to be enough to keep them here. What they are going to need in this money game are companies willing to buy lots of tickets and to fill up corporate boxes.

So far they seem to be in hiding.

For one thing, the port authority, which I always assumed was there to make sure the channel was dredged and that the container ship terminals were in place, was about to get into the retail, entertainment and even baseball business.

But then the authority has that one thing that could make it all work ... money.

Sure, it’s your money, but that makes it even better.
The Port Authority doesn't have hundreds of millions of dollars lying around, and if it did, I'm not sure it would support the agency's mission of creating actual, you know, good, full-time jobs through port traffic.

But that doesn't mean the Port Authority won't play a major role in stadium discussions down the road.  One of Otto's counterparts at the Times, Dan Ruth, even joked in his Sunday column, "and when the Tampa Bay Rays move to downtown Tampa things will really start hopping, which - forgive a touch of cynicism, is what this deal ultimately always has been about anyway."


  1. Just a reminder there are baseball games just 81 days a year. Then again, Tampa has in the past spent a few hundred million for just . . .


    1. "Tampa has in the past spent a few hundred million" to make more then "a few hundred million" back in revenue, it's called investing (, if you didn't know... lol

    2. There is no evidence that the Glazers wouldn't have built a stadium themselves without the public money. Therefore, it's hard to compare true ROI.

    3. And there's no evidence they wouldn't of pick-up their team, and moved, or built some cheap stadium that the NFL won't of wanted to show case their annual Super Bowl at, or that Tampa won't of been able to make much off the stadium's future. "No evidence" is also mostly why people are quick to lash out about what the Rays will or won't do about the stadium issue, it's a shame. The Rays won't say, the politicians aren't trusted, the media doesn't know because no one will say, and everyone else either judges a book by it's cover opposed to taking the time to figure out the truth or just doesn't care...

    4. Well, the evidence seems to be cities like Miami, Minnesota, etc. said "no" to stadiums for years with no repurcussions.

      There hasn't been a hostile relocation in MLB in decades and decades. That encompases dozens and dozens of "stadium stalemates."

    5. Until city officials realized the future revenue they were losing out on...