Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vinik May Add Hotel to Channelside

We've got some news coming from Tampa's somewhat-blighted Channelside district, where the Tampa Tribune broke news of Jeff Vinik's likely plans to build a hotel next to the Forum.  The paper also reported on possible roadwork to open up the district's streets.

This news doesn't really have any impact on a potential Rays move to Tampa since there's still good land available downtown. 

However, some bad news for those hoping the Rays move to Channelside - and nowhere else: Pinellas County finally crossed over the $30 million/year in bed tax revenue, meaning they're now a "high-impact" tourism county and can raise the tax by another penny.  That would increase their possible stadium-funding advantage over Hillsborough County even more.

I wrote about this very thing from MLB's Winter Meetings in December, as Pinellas County could quickly bond about $200 million for stadium infrastructure...if they decided it was a good investment...and if the Rays decided they would even consider a Pinellas stadium...and if other projects don't gobble all that money up first.

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