Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Columnist: This Single-A Stadium Deal Just as Bad as All the Others

Columnist Beth Kassab from the Orlando Sentinel writes that $15 million in local, state, and federal tax dollars to move a Florida State League (Single A) team from Brevard Co. to Winter Park is a crappy deal.  An excerpt:
When a wealthy professional sports team owner and a well-heeled private college want to build a baseball stadium, they naturally turned to the best investors they can find — taxpayers.

Who else would be so generous (or is it gullible?) to sink money in a deal for a $33 million stadium without asking for much in return?
"They wanted a lot more," said Winter Park City Manager Randy Knight. "This is where we landed in the long run."

It's hard to imagine what more they could have wanted when you consider that Rollins will own the stadium and share revenues from tickets, concessions and advertising with the Manatees.

Winter Park won't see a penny of that money.

The only thing the city would get out of the deal is ownership of a 480-space parking garage that it can collect revenue from, but only on days when there aren't baseball games.

On days when Rollins or the Manatees play — you guessed it — Rollins and the Manatees get whatever money is collected in parking fees.
Remember the promises about how the Amway Center would revive Church Street and the surrounding area? Four years later and merchants are still waiting. Or already closed their doors.

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