Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vinik Once-and-For-All Says No to Baseball Stadium

For those still holding out hope for a Downtown Tampa baseball stadium built under Jeff Vinik's watchful eye - despite my repeated warnings and silly things called facts - can we finally put the issue to bed?

Vinik told my WTSP-TV counterpart Allison Kropff yesterday - definitively - there will not be baseball on his 40 acres of downtown development.

Vinik doesn't want more competition for the downtown business dollar; his Lightning are already the best-in-the-business according to ESPN's "Ultimate" team standings, and there's probably even still room to grow the team's young fan base.

(You can also read about the 45th-ranked Rays, the 91st-ranked Bucs, or the 122nd - and last - ranked Maple Leafs here.)

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  1. In Montreal, it's the opposite. We learn this morning from Philippe Cantin from La Presse (yes Nohah, La Presse and Cantin are one of the most credible source of information in Canada) Geoff Molson, owner of the Montreal Canadien is in listening mode for the Expos. And is open to see what kind of contribution his group can do to make it successful.

    After Bell Media, Bronfman, Rossy, Garber and many others to be disclosed, Molson with a hockey team that worth at least $1B is now added to the group.

    Here are the original and the translated article.

    Of course, expansion is the preferred scenario. But if a re-location is happening before, then, the Montreal Baseball Project and the Home Run Project will be ready to move forward.

    Finally, the addition of Molson is also a good new. His vision of building/investing into a stadium is simple. 100% private. Bell Center was built with private money and $100M for renovations were announced earlier this week to the Bell Center.

    Stay tuned, major announcement is expected before April 2016 (based on Mayor Coderre comments in March 2015) and tickets sales for the Red Sox vs Blue Jays pre-season games are a hit. On target to have attendance (real butt in those seats) of more than 100K for those two games.

  2. Noah, posting the ESPN team ranking is not to the level of the quality of your blog and analysis.

    This ESPN poll (because it is a poll) is weak, it's a joke, no matter what teams. In Montreal, the major sports radio station took less than a minute to talk about it. And they all laugh in studio at such poor ranking process.

    So don't dilute/pollute the quality of your content with such cross reference. Because knowledgeable fans will know what to think about such ranking and may do the same cross reference with your content.

    1. Sounds like a post from one of those guys in love until she cheats on him then he says he never liked her anyways, lol...
      "Don't be mad because your hockey team is ranked #54"

    2. What is "weak" is Noah's naiveness toward what Jeff supposedly stated. Him saying there won't be a ballpark built on "his 40 acres" doesn't mean it wouldn't be built on ConAgra's "acres" or any of the vast land north of there...

    3. Anonymous, a raking based on facts like the potential value of a team is fine. Not perfect but that's facts.

      A ranking based on a poll, based partially on How many hockey and baseball and basketball fan from Canada answer the ESPN poll?

      And ESPN call it "ULTiMATE"!

      In french we say: "C'est pas la modestie qui t'├ętouffe!"

      P.S. One of those guys is putting a name on his post. The one that critic one of those guys is not even able to put his name on his post. That give us all an indication of his credibility.

    4. Newsflash, "potential value" isn't "facts", and many smart sports, financial, and research analyst created this poll through much data, so sorry your stuck w/ a hockey team that charges a lot because they can while not winning much compared to the cost. And, a MLB team is wishful thinking. Good Luck dealing with the "mini ice age" in 10 years!

    5. Check your facts Anonymous with no credibility.

      Habs record is 3266 wins and 2213 loss and 837 draws and 119 loss in overtime as of today.

      This is a winning team without any doubts.

      And by the way, the Bell Center is always sold-out. Did I said always?

      Offer and demand explain everything. No matter which teams or which sports.

    6. The reason the Rays and Lightening are on top is bc they are cheap and affordable.... not winners

    7. Dude, they haven't been to the Cup Final since 93' (22 years), and only won 3 playoff series in the last 5 years, so tout the regular season #'s, but what they're saying is it's not worth the cost of attending a game, this isn't the 50's...
      And as far as being sold-out, that's cool, but that doesn't mean it's not over priced...
      Again, they're not getting the Rays or any other pro team, so enjoy your hockey, and enjoy losing in the 1st round of the playoffs again this year, and so on...

    8. and to your second comment, "newsflash", the Rays have the 3rd best record in all the Majors over the last 8 years, and the Lightning have been to the Cup twice in the last decade, while beating the Habs to do so...
      Nice try!

      + your CFL team sucks too!

    9. Just want to remind you that in 2009, TB Lightning back-off a deal to get Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, and a first round pick in exchange for Lecavalier.

      Now we know why the Lightning is cheap and affordable!

    10. "and to your second comment, "newsflash", the Rays have the 3rd best record in all the Majors over the last 8 years"

      3rd best record, great marketing, affordable prices, and your choice of any seat in the house. But hey, let's bash other cities and teams to overlook the fact that the Tampa Bay market has done little in nearly 20 years to demonstrate they can support an MLB team.

      As time goes on, and this situation continues to drag along at snail's pace, potential sites are going to continue to vanish, because developers on both sides of the Bay want to DEVELOP sites. They can't wait around for St Pete city council to decide what they want to do. Not that there's a pitch perfect site, or money to pay for a new dome, or any indication that attendance will go up.

      Then, of course if you agree with the primary notion of this blog, which is that prime development land on either side would be better used on non-MLB projects, and that people don't come to the area for sports, maybe the writing is on the wall. Then the great Rays fans that watch in record numbers on TV (myself included) can continue to watch the team in Montreal.

      After all, how much longer is MLB going to wait for this situation to settle itself? All the while sending money to the Rays, whose payroll continues to drop, while their value rises.

    11. I agree Matt. I think MLB (with a new commissionner in place) will take few years (2-3 max) to make it happen.

      So by 2018, if no significant progress are made, the franchise sale process will start.

      Manfred continue to say that he wants (like Sternberg by the way) to resolve the issue in the region. However, when talking about Montreal chances to get a team, Manfred says it will depend on the process (resolving Rays stadium/attendance issue). And we all know that Manfred want 32 teams, but only when the situations in TB and Oakland are resolved.

      I think the next 5-6 months will be critical for the Rays. Because Sternberg will not increase or even maintain the payroll in 2016 if he not able to move forward with a new stadium project.

      And if the payroll decrease, then, the whole team will be affected and the attendances numbers will dropped by another 5%-10% at least in 2016.

    12. "Newsflash", MLB isn't stressing (like this blog) the issue because they know the Rays developed plans to move to downtown Tampa!

    13. Yes, yes, it's all a big newsflash that they are going to Ybor, and we can take it to the bank and whatnot. In other news, do you have any proof of this? I'm sure the St Pete council would enjoy to hear it, as it would violate the MOU, and get them more money.

      And I'm sure there are some magical bridge and mass transit solutions in this plan, as well as a stash of born again Rays fans just waiting to pledge their allegiance once the team moves over.

    14. Annoy-nymous next announcement will be a newsplash. Mass transit will be resolved by having a beach just next to the new stadium so fans can swim to go to games.

      Matt, I'm not sure Rays will need Mass Transit anyway if they have a new stadium in TB. Stadium will be way smaller with only 20K to 25K seats. The question is does the fans will be able to afford tickets price increase by 25% up to 50% to sit down in a smaller stadium?

      Oups, the ULTIMATE ranking of the Rays will suddenly take a huge hit! The Leafs will have competition at the bottom of the list!