"We have taxpayers who have footed the bill for Tropicana Field," Dudley said, "and we have a responsibility for protecting their interests."
Now, Duemig suggested the responsibility ends in 2017, when the city finishes paying its portion of the stadium, and for some reason, Dudley agreed. But I'm pretty sure Dudley was simply indicating that's when the payments cease - it doesn't actually end the city's responsibility for protecting the contract it negotiated.
We know the Rays think St. Pete owes them a free pass on escaping the contract, but remember - THEY SIGNED THAT CONTRACT! And remember this too:
@BigDogwdae That would be like saying once you finish paying your mortgage, you don't have any financial interest in that home anymore.If St. Pete had paid for the Trop in up-front cash instead of taking out bonds, would their financial interests be over the day the doors opened? Of course not.
— Noah Pransky - WTSP (@noahpransky) November 12, 2014
So at the end of the day, debt service isn't directly tied to how much value remains in the city's contract with the Rays.
Duemig and Dudley also reminded listeners how good the ingress/egress is at the Trop, and traffic for a Tampa stadium could be considerably worse without transit. I mean, have you ever tried to take I-275 into Tampa via Malfunction Junction or the Howard Frankland at 6 p.m.?
Duemig also brought up one of my favorite misunderstandings of the Stadium Saga...how great it would be to put the Tropicana Field land back on the city & county tax rolls.
To which, I always respond with, "if the land in St. Pete would be more valuable as something other than baseball, wouldn't the same go for land in Tampa?"
Other times progress on the Stadium Saga was "near" or "imminent":
September 2014 | August 2013 | July 2013 | July 2012 | June 2010