Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogger: St. Pete Should Let the Rays Go

Interesting opinion today in the pages of Saint Petersblog, where St. Pete resident Peter Schorch wants to tell the Rays, "don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya."  An excerpt:
Both (Michael) Kalt and (Bill) Foster, neither of whom proved capable of negotiating who got the top bunk and who got the bottom, much less the future of city and a baseball franchise, are gone. So who steps in now? Obviously, Kriseman does for Foster, but who will be the Rays’ point-man in any new negotiations? Maybe Stu Sternberg and Co. will put in another Tampaphile who yearn to drag the club across the Howard Frankland.

Or maybe the Rays owners will put in an honest broker, one who will be able to see that the hottest development and real estate spot, perhaps in all of Florida north of Alligator Alley, is downtown St. Pete. You know, the city the New York Times just listed as one of the top places in the world to visit. 

And it’s for that reason that the City of St. Pete should tell the Rays — now — “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…”

Because the second major development which occurred last week when the county tax collector announced that Pinellas had collected $30 million in tourist development taxes — also called bed taxes — in one calendar year. Accomplishing this means Pinellas will soon be designated a ”high tourism impact” county and allowed to charge — and collect — more tourist development taxes. Boosting the tourist tax to 6 percent could raise another $6 million a year for the county.
The post goes on to explain how much Pinellas County could do with all their extra bed tax revenue - a concept I delved into here last month.  But Schorsch also contends the land the Rays currently play on might be better developed without baseball...which begs the question...would possible stadium land in Tampa be too?

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