Friday, October 30, 2015

Buckhorn Thinks Tampa Stadium Likely, as Long as He Doesn't Have to Figure Out Financing

Mayor Bob Buckhorn addresses the inevitable baseball question in a Q&A segment for Creative Loafing:
The chances of a downtown stadium in that spot coming to pass? “60-40. But don’t ask me how we pay for it. The lingering bad taste about [financing for the] Bucs stadium will affect this; we won’t ever be able to go to a referendum to pay for it. This deal would end up being done by multiple financing sources: tourist development taxes, rent car surcharge, private equity, city/county. It’ll be smaller — look more like Pittsburgh’s than New York’s — though a dome is a hundred million [dollars] more. MLB doesn’t want suburban stadiums, they want them in the downtown core, where people empty out of these towers for a 4 p.m. game [so there’d be] 18,000-25,000 people downtown for a game.”
The problem for Hillsborough stadium sites, however, is rental car taxes were just raised to pay for airport expansion. 

And that passing "city/county" reference Buckhorn made?  Well, that means property/general revenue taxes, which neither councilmembers nor commissioners support at this point.

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  1. Seems like everyone wants a stadium, but no one wants to pay for it... Not only that, but even if Tampa did pay for it, there's no ideal location..

    and St Pete's/Pinellas - well, they can help pay for some in their county but the Rays don't want to be there!

    So, it boils down to -> no money, no location, no fans.

  2. "I see a 60-40 chance that this stadium gets built. But at some point someone is going to have to come up with $600M."


  3. Nobody, except the Rays and/or MLB baseball should pay for a new stadium!

    Per in 2001 total MLB revenues were $3.58 billion ($4.79 billion in 2014 dollars) and 56% of those revenues went to players’ salaries.

    In 2014, total MLB revenues were $7.86 billion and just 38% went to players’ salaries, even with the many ridiculously stupid long-term contracts that are negotiated.

    So revenues (in 2014 dollars) after deducting for player salaries were $2.1 billion in 2001 and $4.9 billion in 2014. That is an increase of $2.8 billion which averages out to $93 million per team. To build a $600 million stadium costs just $34 million per year assuming 4%/30 year terms.

    What have MLB and MLB owners done with all this extra money, and keep in mind that their slice of this ever growing pie will continue to get bigger in the coming years?

    For taxpayers to pony up even a dime for a new stadium for any team is obscene. That is like providing publicly funded college scholarships for Warren Buffet’s and Bill Gates’ kids.

  4. Funny he said he didn't know about "how to pay for it", but gave a list of solutions. One has to believe that the finances will be a "moneyball" solution, and I wouldn't rule out private money from those that have it like a Derrick Jeter, yup, I said it. He did say after his playing days that he would like to own a team like "the Boss", and he does live only 2-3 mi. from Channelside. And lets still not rule out $ from Ole' Jeff, and how about naming rights? How much would the Rays get for "Publix Park"!?

    1. The park would only get naming rights if the sponsors thought that the publicity would warrant it.. an empty park does not warrant it.. want an example - see Miami... it's called Marlins Park - NO SPONSORSHIP deal....

      Heck - back in the 2000's Montreal already had a major sponsor lined up for the ball park they were looking to build "LaBatt Park".... that's more sponsorship than the Marlins eventually got and more than the Rays will ever get...

    2. 1) Naming rights generally go to the team's general revenues, not stadium construction.

      2) Can you name another stadium where a private citizen has just given money to a stadium? Or a private business has just donated money to the stadium?

    3. Saying "private money" will finance a stadium is basically saying "I don't know - let me successor figure it out."

      The only time private developers would sink money into a stadium is if they had immense business interest around the land and had no other way to make it valuable. You see this in rural/suburban developments like the Braves.....or like Pinellas' Toytown....but you wouldn't see it in urban Tampa - just not profitable to a developer.

  5. NO'ah, I'm surprised you wouldn't want Tampa to keep the Rays so you can go see YOUR Red Sox play, lol...

  6. The irony in an ex-Red Sox mascot (Wally) hosting a Rays-leaving-town blog...
    How about a blog about a real "shadow of a stadium" from the obstructed view in right-center in Yankee stadium!? lol

    1. You've got it wrong - this isn't a Rays-leaving-town's a watchdog blog looking out for taxpayers.

      You could argue I'm even providing Montreal fans a bit of watchdog warning too!

    2. That's for sure, excellent questions were raised by Noah and any tax payers from any cities in the world will benefit from those examples.

      This is probably one of the most complete source of questioning and debate on public money in sports facilities.

      Now that the sports business is changing, we see more and more large enterprises buying several teams (like Rogers did it in Toronto with the Leafs, TFC, Blue Jays and the Raptors) with enough funds to build and maintain their stadium.

      Stadiums are becoming one component of the brands of those team and with the value of sponsorships, owning a stadium will be critical in the future for teams.

      Teams will need to have full control on the fan experience, the branding and the sponsorship deal and if stadium are funded by tax payers, teams will risk to have less and less control over the fan experience and to some extend, will need to share sponsorship revenues with tax payers.

      One thing is sure, we can't wait to have this debate in Montreal, lots of journalists are saying/writing that we need to have a funding proposal (or scenarios) on the table so we can debate and make sure what will be proposed (and accepted ultimately) is making sense for all parties.