Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gerdes Wants to Sweeten Pot Just Enough to Strike Rays Compromise

The "Pay-to-Stray" concept returned to St. Pete council Thursday, with chairman Charlie Gerdes telling reporters that he'll call for a Rays vote in the next few weeks on a new compromise.

His plan, according to the Times' Charlie Frago and WTVT's Steve Nichols: charge the Rays $1.4 million per year as they look for a new stadium in Pinellas or Hillsborough counties.  Then, if they left St. Pete, they'd pay an annual fee - possibly in the "$2.2 million, $2.3 million" range - through the end of the current contract, which runs through 2027.  All of the "tab" gets forgiven if they stay in St. Pete.

So if the Rays were to hypothetically throw out its first pitch in Tampa in 2020, Gerdes' deal would bring the city around $23.5 million, versus only $17 million or so under Mayor Kriseman's compromise.

Gerdes is also proposing the Rays forgo all development rights to the Tropicana Field site unless they build a new stadium in St. Pete.

Would those sweeteners be enough to flip one of four tough council votes?  We may find out on Oct. 22.

As to whether the Rays would accept....they'd be foolish not to.  But don't expect any warm comments from them on the new proposal - they'd essentially be negotiating against themselves on the payout...and we all know by now that only municipalities do that!





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21 comments:

  1. So it will be interesting to see if the council members that voted NO on the MOU are open to define their financial terms (how much money is necessary for them to accept such agreement?).

    Regarding Sternberg, he said publicly that he will not re-re-re-negotiate. If he accept a new deal, that means he was bluffing.

    Let's see first if all the cooks in the kitchen can agree on the menu.

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    1. The Rays can just say eff you and pack up... Accept a lower deal on the pay out part and then just leave the crooked councilors in Florida holding a relatively empty bag.

      This deal at best says, we're not really interested in keeping the Rays here... we just want the cash. It's like a husband telling his wife that she can leave but still owes him "party favors" while she's playing with someone else...

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    2. Since 2010, Sternberg had the time to do all the studies about which site is the best one and what are the conditions to be successful.

      And we all know that if St-Pete was the best option, the case would be closed.

      So I do agree with you and the fact that it's a matter of how much it will cost Sternberg to get out of the UA.

      But I think the St-Pete council members are taking too seriously their role and their position of power.

      I do agree that a contract is a contract, Sternberg knew the terms of the contract (UA) and it was negotiated in good faith at the time.

      On the other hand, when the circumstances changes, better have a new deal than no deal and collateral effects. And at this time collateral effects are not visible but I suspects that there will be implications that we are not aware at this time that will raise later down the road.

      My perception (and I may be wrong) is that Sternberg is more open than before to monetize the right to look elsewhere.

      On the other hand, I don't see a city council ready to accept that they should focus on something else (with the site) than keeping a team in their city/county limits.

      If the team was successful at the gate, I would say, OK, you have a chance. But the reality is clear. The trend is there and I don't see it going up significantly soon.

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    3. Pat, I agree. Stu doesn't need this penalty payment system at all. He's already looked at the potential sites and already done his assessment of where a stadium ought to be.

      There are no NEW sites available now over what was available several years ago. He knows St Pete is not viable. And to be honest, looking at the various Tampa sites left now, I'm not sure any of those are really going to make an iota of a difference in terms of attendance. They are all fraught with issues as far being able to get people to and fro....

      Tampa/St Pete is not Atlanta or NYC where public transport will provide easy access. It's drive or bust. And in the Tampa Bay area, traffic is a killer.

      Another way of looking at this is, that the Montreal ownership group will need to divert possibly $20-$25Mn to St Pete to get the team out of there after buying it from Stu... Split the difference and voila. A get out of Florida card!

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    4. That's for sure, for Montreal investors, paying an additional $25M or even $50M (above the cost of the Rays) is nothing considering a new francise will cost at least $750M up to $1B (before investing into a new stadium). Right now, a NHL expansion team is at least $500M (the process is currently in Phase 3 with Quebec city and Las Vegas).

      The only missing piece of the puzzle is does the Mets are for sale? If yes, then Sternberg will move quickly, accepting terms that will let the Montreal group in a better position to get the team out of TB before 2028. Sternberg better facilitate the sales/transition in order to get the Mets (or a new team in NY via expansion?).

      We'll see.

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    5. No chance for Montreal. That has been a "plant" from the get-go.

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    6. Even Manfred is confirming that it's all about the process. One step at a time.

      https://twitter.com/j_filosa/status/652516625007165440

      Stay Tuned for the audio clip!

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    7. Here it is.

      Translated version of the comments.

      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.985sports.ca%2Fbaseball%2Fnouvelles%2Fretour-des-expos-manfred-demeure-positif-740660.html&edit-text=&act=url

      Good things come to those who wait.

      Patience is a virtue!

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    8. More from Manfred: When asked if the Expos return process would be more likely to pass through expansion or relocation of a concession, Manfred replied cautiously: "It is impossible to answer this question. Everything will depend on how the situation evolves. "

      https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.journaldemontreal.com%2F2015%2F10%2F09%2Fcest-un-long-processus-pour-montreal---manfred&edit-text=&act=url

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  2. Hey, look at this: a counteroffer! Now we are going somewhere. The sooner the Rays leave, the sooner we can turn to more urgent public policy issues, like what changes need to be made so we aren't swimming in our own sh*t--internalizing our externalities.

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  3. Why pay for something when you don't have to? Most of the planning stages have been done already in Hillsborough without paying, so why now? Just so the media & people can become in-the-know? Who cares if they know...

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    1. And as always, this is based not on first-hand knowledge, but hearsay?

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    2. Noah, for someone "in the know" we haven't seen much insightful reporting or investigative reporting from you re the Rays' stadium issues - especially now where there is a lot happening behind the scenes. So, while others engage in "hearsay", not sure you are countering those rumblings with anything better....

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    3. I guess if it's not reported by the "media", it isn't nor hasn't happened... lol #naive

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    4. Why didn't you report this No-it-all?

      http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/baybuzz/longtime-foe-of-rays-deal-is-cooking-up-his-own-plan/2249730

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  4. Either or, they saved that and more by simply trading David Price...

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  5. That sounds like a fair compromise. The Rays should take that or reconsider St. Pete.

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  6. The Rays should stay in St. Petersburg without a doubt.

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    1. There are a LOT of doubts about whether the Rays should stay in St Pete and if they WANT to stay (which they don't)

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