Of course, if the team stays, the price is zero.
In fact, Kriseman has been steadfast in his city's ability to put together the best package for a new stadium right on the current Tropicana Field site.
But even if St. Pete redevelops the Trop into a 15-acre stadium with 70 acres of residential, retail, and commercial space, it's not quite sure where the funding would come from. Did Kriseman support new city taxes going toward a new stadium when taxpayers have already paid for another decade's worth of baseball in St. Pete?
The mayor said it wouldn't have to be "new" taxes since bed taxes and private money from redeveloping the Trop could be enough. But that's quite a tall task...and some serious speculation.
Yes, the single-biggest pot of potential stadium money in all of Tampa Bay is Pinellas County's tourist tax. Even if the county's tourism industry would allow two full cents of sales tax to go toward a new MLB stadium, we're only looking at approximately $12 million per year of revenue, which might bond approx. $150 million in construction.
Even if the Rays, who refuse to talk about their contributions, are willing to pay $150-200 million, we're still a looooong way from paying for a new fixed-roof stadium, even if it only costs $450 million.
That'd mean at least $50-100 million in local tax dollars - comparable to what St. Pete was paying for 30 years on Tropicana Field - but also money that could go toward the city's countless other needs.
It may all be a moot point if you believe the Rays should be in Tampa anyway. Of course, that city doesn't have any cash to pay for a stadium either...but I digress.
As for today's meeting, don't expect the Rays to offer much in response. Why show your cards now when you don't even know the hand you're holding? New councilmembers will be elected next Tuesday, Nov. 3.
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