Sunday, September 15, 2013

Romano: Drop the Confidentiality Agreement in Stadium Saga

As the Trib's columnist, Steve Otto, was dissecting the impact the Channelside deal would have on the Rays Stadium Saga, the Times' columnist, John Romano, used his Sunday column to once again advocate for a quick resolution to the stalemate.

Romano has been frustrated by the stalemate for years, but he writes its now holding a pair of downtowns hostage since developers & business leaders can't sit on empty properties forever.  And available tax dollars won't be around forever:
In many ways, both sides of the bay are at a crossroads. There is an opportunity to re-imagine and reinvigorate two downtowns, but one key issue must first be resolved.
When will the Rays be allowed to look in Tampa?

"Time is of the essence,'' said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "No one can expect Mr. Vinik to do nothing with that land for six or seven years until this gets resolved.
As I wrote last week, there is a lot of value in long-term civic planning.  But at the same time, there's no guarantee the region will decide building a new stadium is in its best interests if the Rays don't foot the majority of the bill themselves.  And if there are public subsidies going to a stadium, the sooner the half-billion-dollar structure is built, the sooner it will start re-directing tax funds away from other sources.

Romano continues with his suggested "next step":
Drop the confidentiality agreement. If the Rays are refusing to offer compensation — as some City Council members have suggested — then let's find out. And if Foster is being unrealistic, then let's find that out, too.

The other alternative, particularly if Foster is re-elected in November, is for the Rays to deal directly with the City Council.

We can't begin arguing about locations, finances or even whether we want to pay the price to remain an MLB market until we get past this first step. Enough time has been wasted already.
Couldn't agree more with Romano's conclusion about the confidentiality agreement - it probably isn't doing Rays fans or Tampa Bay taxpayers any good.

(side note: In July, I also suggested that the Rays could potentially deal directly with city council against Foster's wishes, since council is in charge of city policy.  But the Times' Mark Puente disagreed, saying nothing happens in a "strong mayor" form of government without the mayor's direction.)

Nevertheless, Romano's right in that a quick resolution might help St. Pete and Tampa plan better for the future.  But a quick resolution could also jeopardize the region's legal leverage and encourage more public financing than may be necessary.


  1. Regarding 'dropping confidentialty', the Rays need to completely open up their books as well. If one dime of public money is to go to multi-millionaire Stu Sternberg, we taxpayers need to be made fully aware of how destitute (or not) Stu is.

  2. "pay the price to remain an MLB market"

    So, we are being extorted. Least that's out in the open.

  3. The rays owe dirtbag st.pete nothing!!!"

  4. Yeah, let's be completely open.
    Rays can open their books and tell us just how many billions of dollars they have in capital. Then they can tell us just how much money they're willing to pay to free themselves of a legally binding contract ahead of the expiration of said contract. THEN they can state exactly how much they're going to contribute to a new facility and when the people can vote on it.

    It'll never happen though. And then cheerleading dolts like Romano can just keep softening on obvious, sensible demands until it becomes "Pretty please promise to be a nice sports team and not put us over a barrel while we all subsidize your huge, money-making franchise.

    And the pea-brained sports fans will whoop it up and urge us to hurry up and set fire to huge piles of money because they just can't envision a life without passive spectating. Never mind the facts don't back up the benefits of a stadium and the owners have a 99.9% success rate of lying their way to a new stadium and screwing over everyone in the municipal area before the ink's even dry.

  5. "and tell us just how many (billions) of dollars they have in capital", LOL!, Paul, your really are showing your LACK of knowledge...
    Though I can appreciate your enthusiasm for your opinion, it's far from accurate...

    As for the re-reported post, let's keep it real, St.Pete is scared to let the Rays publicly "talk" to Tampa, because they're scared to lose their cash-cow, especially with the public's opinion like a overly protective boyfriend. Though yinz might be fooled by only whats reported, I know they're (Rays, Tampa, other financial partners involved) all "talking" behind the scenes, and have blueprints of Channelsides future, financial plans, etc....

    1. I've always been terribly curious about your inside knowledge, Dufala. How do you know so much about what's going on behind the scenes?

    2. I don't, though it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that people involved like Stu, Jeff, Bob, etc. know more about what the plan is then you as part of Tampa's media want to believe. Think about it, read between the lines, connect the dots! I just find it hard to believe that they just say to each other "behind the scenes" "Hello, Hi, has Billy let you talk to me yet about a stadium(?), Nope, Ok, well then I'll talk to you then...", there is to much at money at stake, and if you learn anything about "journalism", they old quotes "where's there's smoke there's fire" & "more then what meets the eye" is usually accurate. I just learned in my travels that financial elitist like Stu (from Goldman Sachs), and Jeff (owned his own "hedge fund") do what they want regardless of rules or regulations...

    3. Thanks for the journalism lessons!
      You still have never addressed who is going to pay for a stadium.

    4. Maybe you haven't been following this topic, but no one of credit has said yet, lol. Maybe you should ask those that have better knowledge of this opposed to assuming, and asking me, lol. All I'm saying is we the people are naive to only believe that those directly involved only have talked about or done no more then what reported. And as good salesmen know about customers, "buyers are lairs", and it seems some people plan on "buying" a ballpark...

    5. So no one of credit has said it, and you have no actual knowledge of it happening, making this all your "theory." Maybe people really are naive, but not naive of what you're accusing...

    6. LOL, I know, Stu, Bob, Jeff, etc. NEVER talked about building a ballpark in Channelside, and the "smartest front office in baseball" has never looked into it... I'm guessing it isn't hard to become a "journalist", taking people for their words, and only believing what you see is all it takes, lol. I wish all my customers has your mentality, because I also have land West of Clearwater Beach for sale, lol...

    7. LOL, I know, Stu, Bob, Jeff, etc. NEVER talked about building a ballpark in Channelside, and the "smartest front office in baseball" has never looked into it... I'm guessing it isn't hard to become a "journalist", taking people for their words, and only believing what you see is all it takes, lol. I wish all my customers has your mentality, because I also have land West of Clearwater Beach for sale, lol...

  6. Let's return to readable English and common sense, Rayz and the politicians involved will NEVER drop the cloak of confidentially
    because it provides cover for both parties
    A "quick resolution" will only result in enrichment of the Rayz owners and possibly the other owners writing salary penalty checks,meanwhile Tampa Bay taxpayers and tourists will be left holding the bag.
    There's no good reason for a "quick resolution" unless you are a mouthpiece for those who would profit from it.

    1. I know it's fun to bash big-wigs, but one of these days I hope someone sits down w/ you PJ, and explains how city investing works...