Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Inside Baseball: Tampa & Hillsborough Haggle Over TIF Money

It may not mean much ultimately to the Rays' long-term prospects for a new stadium in Downtown Tampa, but Richard Danielson reports {link to Times' site} the city and county are about to finalize a new agreement on future TIF-sharing.

While an extension of the current plan would likely give the city of Tampa about $150 million in bonding capacity for new downtown projects, the county wants some of the money back.

Danielson reports the new deal might reduce future revenues to just $100 million (the county wants to spread some of the money elsewhere).  But of course, if a stadium was on the table, the county would most likely return any TIF surplus (and thensome).


  1. Let's keep it real, there isn't much other "downtown projects" that would draw in the revenue for the city & county for decades to come (or a hurricane) that a new MLB ball park would draw...

    1. I would disagree. A USF medical school would and thensome. Getting a few thousand people to move, live, and work downtown 365 days a year would be better than 25,000 fans who may or may not spend outside money there 81 nights a year.

  2. Noah is using drugs with his contention that a medical school would outweigh the return from an MLB stadium.
    1. The Rays presence in Downtown St Pete is the primary reason St Pete is so far ahead of Tampa in terms of downtown residential and tourism spending.
    2. there is no evidence at all to suggest that Medical Students will choose to live in downtown Tampa if that is where the school is built. Odds are, they won't.
    3. what are we talking about, 200 students, maybe 300? And maybe some staffers?
    4. once the Rays began operations at the Trop, we saw thousands of new residents in the area within 2 miles of the stadium, not to mention more than 1.5 million people who come from outside that 2 mile area to attend events at the Trop.

    The impact of the Rays coming to downtown St Pete worked like this. Prior to the Rays, DTSP was about like Tampa. Virtually no night life (save the occasional festival and Lightning/Storm games) and scant infrastructure for permanent residents. But PLENTY of vacant housing stock.
    With the Trop's addition of about 90 to 100 days of available work for servers/food prep/related game services personnel, hundreds of people whose income came from working multiple server/catering/cooking jobs at multiple locations, relocated to downtown/near downtown. With that addition of hundreds of people drawn by work at the Trop, we saw increased spending, which drew additional investment (groceries, convenience stores, dry cleaners, liquor stores, and loads and loads of restaurants). These, in turn drew even more hospitality and similar workers to Downtown/Near Downtown. The additional commercial infrastructure now made the high end residential construction feasible, resulting in all the towers along Beach, and the second wave being built right now.
    This resulted in even MORE commercial infrastructure investment, which drew even MORE people, which drew even more residential investment, this time targeted at all segments of the market (low income, middle income, and high income).

    That is the difference of an MLB baseball team.

  3. Previous post aborted inadvertently. I meant to conclude by pointing out that the hoped-for positive impacts from a Downtown Medical School site are similar to those actually realized from a baseball stadium, only smaller.

    1. Depends on many factors. Stadium workers cannot afford to live in Downtown Tampa. But medical students/faculty are more likely to.

      Wages for stadium jobs are poor; wages for medical schools are high. And they are full-time jobs, versus 81-day-a-year jobs.