But my repeated warnings aside, the Tampa Bay Times wrote a comprehensive analysis this weekend that should all but end the conspiracy theories that the Stadium Saga will magically work itself out:
Might Vinik offer up a big chunk of real estate so Sternberg can have a new home?A quick summary:
In recent interviews with the Tampa Bay Times, Mayor Bob Buckhorn expressed doubts.
- Moving the Rays to Tampa could hurt Lightning attendance because the immediate Tampa metro may not have enough businesses & disposable income for three pro teams.
- A stadium that hosts 81 games a year may not be the highest-and-best use of valuable downtown land that could otherwise host entertainment, commercial, or residential facilities.
- "Mid-sized market teams typically pay little or no rent to the stadium owner," re-emphacizing the concept that those who pay for stadiums seldom profit from them.
- 81 baseball games a year could create scheduling conflicts in an already-congested downtown.
- One of Tampa's biggest opportunities for downtown synergy is by replacing the ConAgra flour mill will with something that drives more economy.
Does Vinik want a new Channelside #Rays stadium? Or just the newspapers? http://t.co/00lQz9iN #Lightning #StadiumSagaAlso interesting - in addition to the $400-$600 million cost of a stadium and the possible $50-$100 million cost to compensate St. Pete for the remaining years of its contract - the Times reports that acquiring the ConAgra site could cost the city "$60 million to $80 million, a big add-on to a stadium."
— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) October 14, 2012
There was also another clarification on Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan's "no public dollars" for a stadium pledge. The Times article states the conservative Republican now says general revenue dollars for a stadium (via a CRA/TIF) could be justified "as long as it did not lead to new property taxes."
Meanwhile, there has been few public comments from Vinik, who is still seen as the knight in shining armor who could help move the Rays to Tampa. A minority owner of the Red Sox, Vinik just seems to be more focused on making Channelside and Channelside Bay Plaza into a year-round entertainment & event center than he does focused on anything to do with baseball.
Oh, and lets not forget St. Pete still hasn't given the Rays permission to talk to Tampa about stadium sites...it seems mayor Rick Kriseman is trying to meet up with Sternberg to chat this week.
The best long-term resolution to replacing Tropicana Field still remains a regional, multi-county effort that would minamalize the financial impact to taxpayers by spreading it out across a large base. Of course, that is only if taxpayers decided helping to finance a stadium was in their best interests...and if only turning "modest" profits in the seven-to-eight-figure range annually really is a "problem" to begin with.