Friday, October 3, 2014

Times Editorial Board Issues Cheers, Warning on Hillsborough Negotiations

In the last week, St. Pete's mayor met with the Rays and Hillsborough County voted to meet with the team if St. Pete irons out a contract amendment.  For what its worth, these same pieces of "news" occurred in 2012 too.

Yet hope springs eternal when any potential development arises, and the Tampa Bay Times editorial board applauds the efforts {link to Times' site}.  But it also warns about the enormous financing issue nobody has any suggested fixes for yet:
(The Tampa Sports Authority negotiating committee) will be more of a front; any baseball stadium deal in Tampa will almost certainly involve public money, regulatory and planning considerations and any number of other concessions by city and county governments in Hillsborough. The principal players won't be the sports authority members but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan, who conceived the idea for a working group.
The Times also warns about Hagan's desire to keep the group from having to work under Florida's Sunshine Laws.
Transparency isn't Hagan's strong suit, and he will need to work openly throughout this process. Hillsborough's move at this early stage, though, is more about positioning as St. Petersburg and the Rays look to open up the search, and about reclaiming some leverage from Buckhorn, who has cultivated the notion of a baseball stadium in downtown Tampa.
If you remember back to January 1, the Times urged Kriseman to solve the Stadium Saga "within months."  And on March 31, it continued its rich history of pushing for regional collaboration on the issue.

Yet, here we are in October, with the Rays still waiting for permission to explore sites in Hillsborough County.....because, of course, they won't even consider sites in Pinellas County until St. Pete makes concessions in its contract.

That means since 2008, we've had hundreds of "developments," more than 20 editorials, and zero actual progress in resolving the long-term questions regarding the Rays.

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