Thursday, October 15, 2015

Columnist Fails to Read MOU; Says St. Pete Should Give Up on Negotiations with Rays Anyway

Tomorrow morning, the Tampa Bay Times will print this Dan Ruth column, calling on St Petersburg's city council to "grow up."  The Pulitzer Prize-winner contends the city should just concede and "make official" the talks he assumes Stu Sternberg & Rays executives are having anyway with officials in Tampa/Hillsborough County.
Personally, I'm not sure the Rays are doing anything right now besides kicking back and watching the region negotiate against itself...but here was my reaction to Ruth's column:
Ruth also pens this paragraph, which I'll be pinning to my imaginary billboard for the next time he advocates a taxpayer-funded stadium in Tampa:
Earlier this year, council members Steve Kornell, Wengay Newton, Jim Kennedy and Bill Dudley all voted against allowing the Rays to search for a new stadium site. What this quartet of court jesters simply cannot grasp is the 85-acre Tropicana Field site is worth far more to the city in terms of jobs, economic impact and property taxes without the Rays taking up all the open space that sits relatively unused for most of the year.
If Downtown St. Pete land is better-utilized as something other than a baseball stadium...wouldn't the same apply for urban land in Tampa?

Then, Ruth caps it off with a factual error:
In the end, St. Petersburg would greatly benefit from a redeveloped Trop site. And in the process of being allowed to look around, Gerdes' plan would require the Rays to pay a $1.4 million yearly fee to conduct the search.
As I wrote yesterday, Gerdes' newest plan did not charge the Rays $1.4 million a year to look at possible new stadium sites...only a $1.4 million a year transition fee from the point they announced new stadium plans elsewhere to the time they vacated the Trop.

So, feel free to do with this column the same thing you do with all your stadium-cheering editorials.

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  1. "If Downtown St. Pete land is better-utilized as something other than a baseball stadium...wouldn't the same apply for urban land in Tampa?"

    Are you really this naive or obtuse, Noah?


    And not all locations are equal.

    1. He's "naive or obtuse" - but you really believe "urban land" in Tampa is worth less than in St Pete???

    2. Put it this way, if folks didn't go see the Rays in St Pete, they ain't gonna be breaking down doors to go see them in traffic blocked Tampa....

      The Rays' best course of action is pay the leaving penalty and head north to Montreal asap

  2. I'm yet to read anywhere that City Council Chair Charlie Gerdes' proposal to be considered by the Council on October 22nd, waives fees and fines if the Rays build a new stadium in St. Petersburg. I read the proposal and the exception is written in black and white. This financial incentive to remain in St. Petersburg is what a City Council of St. Petersburg should do, I hope it passes.

    1. City Council of St. Petersburg should be paying the Rays to leave the Trop so that they could develop it in to the billion dollar area they keep saying it is....

    2. If you are upset you didn't read that fees are waived if the team stays in St. should read this site more:

    3. You missed my point Know-it-all Noah.... The Trop is worth more to St Pete WITHOUT the Rays. As such, they should be paying the Rays to leave asap.

    4. Your argument: The property has a higher value now than when the Use Agreement was signed. Therefore, the City should pay the Rays to leave? Lol, wut? Do everyone a favor and leave the business decisions to more qualified thinkers.

    5. The argument make sense and need to be better detailed. Paying a team to leave may be a valuable option.

      This interesting graph depicts some impacts (not all of them).

      Having a baseball team in a city or a region have economical impacts. On the other hand, developing the land will also have economical impacts.

      But with both scenarios, the question is what's the long term plan, the vision?

      Keeping a team with a new stadium that is empty is not a viable scenario. Even if the stadium only contains 20K to 25K seats. You don't want to have more headlines on the attendance than the performance of the team. And you want players that will love to play there.

      So qualified thinkers are required, for sure, but St-Pete and TB are at the cross roads. What's the vision, what's the plan for the region. Then and only then, a decision can be made to pay the Rays for the to leave, to let the Rays pay their UA exit or to move forward with a new plan with the Rays for a stadium on the appropriated land with the appropriated investments.

      By not having this vision/plan, St-Pete is stuck with as may opinions as the number of city council members.

      One interesting point-of-view is does more MiLB teams with smaller stadiums could be more beneficial to the region (with land development) than one big stadium with one MLB team that have trouble filling the seats?

  3. Ruth doesn't read; he doesn't think; he just moans. Send him out to pasture already. Here's a really good picture I saw of him the other day.