Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stadium Saga & Mayoral Politics

While the Stadium Saga is a big deal to the local newspapers, it may not be such a big deal to St. Pete voters.  A Bay News 9 poll indicates 60 percent of voters who could cast ballots in the mayoral election don't care about candidates' stances on the Rays' contract & stadium debate.

Of the 40% of St. Pete voters who appear to care, you've got to think they "lean Foster" since the mayor has held a hard line on the team honoring its contract...and residents of St. Pete generally don't want the team to move to Tampa.

Nevertheless, the stalemate is a big reason the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board has decided Rick Kriseman should replace Bill Foster in city hall (it may also have to do with Kriseman being a Democrat, despite the supposed non-partisan nature of the race).

This weekend, Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens opined, "St. Petersburg needs a real mayor," listing the reasons why Foster should be replaced.  However, there's no evidence that Foster was the one responsible for "breaking off talks," as Nickens indicated.

And while the Rays may be "four years closer to leaving", as Nickens criticized, Foster also secured four more years of MLB in St. Pete - exactly what his job as mayor entails (as affirmed by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn).

Meanwhile, the right-leaning Tampa Tribune, which has also been outspoken about the Rays need for a new Downtown Tampa stadium, endorsed Foster, a Republican, nonetheless.  Ironically, the outlet that sells the majority of its papers in Hillsborough County gave Foster more credit for doing the hazardous parts of his job:
It’s a tricky line to walk for Foster, who must protect the city’s financial interests while acknowledging the team wants to look for a new stadium in Tampa, a move that could benefit the region at his city’s expense. He is right to fiercely protect the city, but he should have signaled a willingness to let the team look in Tampa much earlier than he did.
Election Day in St. Pete is November 5.


  1. Foster has wasted the past 4 years trying to build Phase I of his $150M Lens project before it was soundly rejected by voters. He might have used that time and some of that money to make downtown a more desirable place for a stadium and for improving transit connections to make the Trop accessible to more fans.

    Using St. Pete residents tax money to subsidize the Rays move to a new stadium in Tampa is more of a stall than a plan. Nothing of substance has come out of all this talk.

    Until we get congress to pass antitrust legislation cities will bid against each other to lure teams. We will never outbid richer cities.

  2. "...stalemate is a big reason the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board has decided Rick Kriseman should replace Bill Foster in city hall (it may also have to do with Kriseman being a Democrat, despite the supposed non-partisan nature of the race)."

    Yes the stalemate is a big reason for giving up on Foster. Not partisan politics.

    The Times leans heavily republican in local races. I don't think they've endorsed a democrat for mayor in 40 years or more, not counting Dave Fisher who was elected as a republican but changed parties to help elect his wife Margo to the state house. They endorsed Foster last time.

    1. "The Times leans heavily republican in local races."

      This is very incorrect.

    2. Look at Pinellas county commission races and Tampa Bay legislative seats for the past few election cycles. I counted more republican endorsements. Republicans that have been endorsed for mayor over the last 20 years are Foster (4 years ago), Rick Baker, David Fisher.

    3. Let's relax Tom, Noah tends to get sensitive about his love for right-wing stuff! lol