And over in District 1, where Susan Long is challenging incumbent Mike Suarez:If the Tampa Bay Rays get agreement to leave St. Petersburg, should public Community Redevelopment Area dollars or other taxes be used for a new stadium in Tampa?
♦ (Joseph) Citro
Tampa cannot afford to pay for a new stadium. Only after state, county, and ownership funds are secured should Tampa consider.
♦ (Julie) Jenkins
No. I think money should come from private sector.
♦ (Charlie) Miranda
In my opinion, the Rays will either remain in St. Petersburg or relocate to another area entirely. I do not believe relocating to Tampa or anywhere else in the area will solve the Ray’s attendance problem because they will have the same population and corporate base from which to draw. Additionally, it will be difficult to obtain any kind of public funding or subsidy at the same time we may be asking the public to support funding for mass transit.
Should the Tampa Bay Rays get agreement to leave St. Petersburg and move to Tampa, both candidates would support using community redevelopment funds to pay for street and sewer improvements similarly to how the city is planning to pay for infrastructure improvements needed for Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's proposed downtown remake of the area around the Amalie Arena.
But neither would support using city funds to pay for stadium construction.
“A stadium doesn't bring revenue or residents,” Long said. “I just don't see it being a cost-effective venture.”