Monday, April 20, 2015

Why Pro Teams (in Other Cities Too) Need Your Money to Rip Out Seats

My last stadium report for WTSP, “Why pro teams need your money to rip out seats,” focused on how pro sports teams – including many in Florida – have sought tax dollars for renovation projects that drop stadium capacities. It’s often not in taxpayers’ best interests, but of course, elected leaders keep choosing to support the project anyway.

At least Floridians can take heart that it’s happening in other places too.

Field of Schemes reports how the Cleveland Indians have yanked out 7,000 seats thanks to tax subsidies…and the result is pretty ugly.

For what it’s worth, the Rays spent a few million of their own dollars last year to retrofit the Trop and remove a few thousand seats. It created the 360 concourse experience…which I wrote at the time, may increase alcohol sales enough on its own to justify the construction.

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