Friday, November 27, 2015

Why the Bucs - Just Like the Rays - May Soon Be Seeking a New Stadium

It has never been more clear that the Bucs, just like the Rays, will soon be seeking a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay...and they'll lean on taxpayers to pay for it.

Of course, "soon" is a relative term since the real PR blitz may be nearly a decade away, as the team's lease at Raymond James Stadium runs through 2027. But it can take a decade for the seeds of a new stadium to why not plant them now?

We can see the early stages of the leveraging as the Bucs jockey for leverage with the taxpayer-funded Tampa Sports Authority, regarding terms of their stadium renovations.  What should have been a simple "taxpayers pay $26 million; we'll pay the rest" discussion has broken down over the team's out-of-the-blue request to play multiple regular-season games in another city (or country).

In fact, I reported in October how the county asked the Bucs about extending their lease at Raymond James Stadium past 2027 in exchange for some of their requested contract & renovation concessions, but the team said it "was not interested at this time."

If the heavy-handed arm-twisting and relocation threatmongering in San Diego, Oakland, and St. Louis is any indication, Tampa Bay fans can expect the league to threaten relocating the Bucs in the late 2020's if plans aren't underway for a new stadium by the middle of the decade.

And as valuable as cities like Los Angeles and London may be as NFL markets; they're potentially even more valuable as stalking horses for other cities to use as relocation leverage.

Of course, Tampa Bay baseball fans already know all about being used as a pawn to help other cities get new taxpayer-funded stadiums...

The stadium blueprint also explains why team owners ultimately insist on stadium deals where they control stadium profits, but taxpayers technically own the facility.  Neil deMause explains
Not only would they have to pay their own property taxes then, but they wouldn’t have expiring leases to hold over the heads of local officials. Or have the local news media hold over officials’ heads — it’s so much more convenient that way. 

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  1. Com'on Noah, I don't know where you come up with this one, BUT anyone w/ at least a 1/2 brain knows that a "new" stadium won't happen, it's only a matter of improvements to Raymond James...
    It's too bad the Bucs have terrible owners that don't care as much about the community of Tampa Bay, like Stu, Jeff, or even Shad Khan is...

    1. B. Dufala - you state "Bucs have terrible owners".
      Finally we agree on something :)

    2. Really? The Glazers are going to magically decide they don't need a new stadium like everyone else in the league?

      The Rams are threatening to leave if they don't get a replacement for their 20-year-old stadium.

      The Falcons are replacing a 23-year-old stadium.

      And of the seven teams with older stadiums than Atlanta, two (SD & OAK) have said they'd relocate if their cities don't build them a new stadium as well.

      So given the fact that RayJay is no historical landmark like's a pretty safe bet they'll follow the rest of their NFL counterparts in demanding a new "state-of-the-art" facility as soon as their current lease is up.

    3. Well, we all know the "build me a stadium or I'm moving" is a PR move to save grace with their fans for those actually moving to LA, and the 2 two that's moving (Raiders & Bolts) to LA, both have stadiums built in the 60's!
      Again, it's crazy to think they'll pursue a "new" stadium w/out pursuing an upgrade...
      The problem is with stadiums from the 70's & 80's is they were very generic, isolated, and hard to retro fit into something cool & new, like for the cars built in those days...
      Actually something to talk about in regards to a new Bucs stadium is a Bucs & Rays stadium downtown Tampa, with hotels, stores, condos, and bars attached, i.e. (

    4. Like I've stated times before, sports like golf & baseball needs public gathering venues like they were back when very few owned vehicles to drive to stadiums built outside of downtown's. Fenway is a downtown summertime hangout, and has been for over 100 years, as is Wrigley, as is now Amalie, stadiums that people go to, and don't even watch the game...