Friday, September 26, 2014

Spring Training Subsidies May Never Subside

Behind the scenes, Tampa Bay and Pasco County leaders are skeptical about a massive new privately-financed baseball/sports complex in Wesley Chapel.  But former MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield, who recently lent his name to the development group's project, thinks its a home-run.

Oh, and according to local publication The Laker/Lutz News, he thinks the Braves would be interested in relocating their Spring Training facilities there after 2017:
[T]he former outfielder says the proposed $70 million baseball complex planned on 100 acres in the Wiregrass Ranch area will be so attractive, it would be impossible for any Major League team to turn it down.

“They don’t want to be second to Disney,” Sheffield told a group of business leaders Thursday at a Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce event. “The problem they are having is that the fans coming to the games there are not Braves fans. They are there for Disney, and that is a problem for them.”
Of course, that $70 million in private development could be subsidized by (or coupled with) $30 million in new state payments.  Because obviously, $30 million in state tax handouts to a team that's already playing in Florida makes sense.

And since the Braves are no dummies, they will happily entertain more competition for their services, even if its just to jack up the price of Disney keeping them.

In other Spring Training subsidy news, Field of Schemes points out the West Palm stadium plans could lose out to an actual business willing to pay actual taxes:
Fortunately for Palm Beach County, Florida, a developer has just done this for its plan to build new spring training facilities for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, offering to pay the city of West Palm Beach $14 million for its land and not demand tens of millions of dollars in subsidies like the stadium project would.
Although, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's headline seems to indicate this is a terrible development:
New obstacles surface for county baseball stadium proposal

1 comment:

  1. Gary Sheffield was paid $168 million during is MLB career - he should have no problem coming up with the additional $30 million.