Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 3: Significant Reactions to the Rays' Deal with St. Pete

Monday: My immediate reaction to the Rays' deal with St. Pete
Tuesday: Key takeaways from Kriseman, Auld's question-answering session
TuesdayCouncilmembers skeptical; Sternberg issues non-threat threat

Now, on Day 3 of fallout from the announcement of a St Pete/Rays deal, we get more interesting reaction:

Trib Columnist Joe Henderson
Echoing his counterpart John Romano at the Times, the sports-turned-metro columnist suggested it was a good deal and St Pete Mayor Kriseman probably wasn't going to do any better than he did.
Henderson also echoed something I first wrote about five-and-a-half years ago: the location of the Trop is its single-biggest problem:
Baseball’s failure there has everything to do with geography, period. It never made sense to build a stadium at the extreme western edge of the Tampa Bay area and expect to be successful. People from the big population centers in Hillsborough County won’t fight our stifling traffic to drive to the Trop on a weeknight when they can easily turn on the hi-def at home.
Having the Rays move to Tampa doesn’t mean St. Pete is a lousy city. On the contrary, it’s a fabulous, thriving place and it’s only going to get better....It’s just not the right place for the Rays. 

John Romano Pt. II
Following his column Tuesday, the Times' columnist wrote today that the payout may be puny and the deal "stinks" for St. Pete, but it was as good as the leveraged mayor was going to do. I don't know why more of the reaction hasn't been critical of the Rays for refusing to budge much, but that's neither here nor there. 

Tampa Tribune Editorial Board
No surprise, Tampa's hometown daily is happy to see St. Pete loosen its grip on the Rays. Its argument for passage of the deal: St. Pete's long term benefit of having the team in Tampa outweighs any direct losses over the next 13 years. 

The editorial basically contends the Rays should pay for the majority of a new stadium, but the public should contribute too. It also indicates incentives aren't taxes...but that's a silly talking point.

Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board
Another non-surprise, the good folks at the Times (seeking to put the Trib out of business in Tampa) also heralded the mayor's compromise. They mirrored the Trib's piece closely, so here's the link if you'd like to read it. 

Next, all eyes are on tomorrow's city council meeting where eight elected officials will decide if the proposed deal truly does protect St Pete taxpayers. If not... we could be forced to re-re-re-re-negotiate!

A brief history of Times editorials on the Stadium Saga:
The history goes further back than that, but for a good synopsis, watch my 2010 piece on newspapers cheerleading for new stadium projects.

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