Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hillsborough Stadium Cheerleader Says County Loses Money When Teams Play Games in Stadiums

With neither the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) nor the Buccaneers talking publicly about their expensive-but-still-somewhat-secretive renovation plans yesterday, Hillsborough County's stadium cheerleader-in-chief Ken Hagan handled the majority of the press interviews...and made some baffling comments about the team's new ability to play preseason "home" games in other cities or countries {link to Times' site}:
(Commissioner) Hagan said under the terms of the lease agreement, taxpayers actually save money when the Bucs don't play homes games in Tampa, and losing those preseason games won't hurt advertising and other revenues. 
So Hagan, who has argued that pro sporting events bring such great economic benefits that the county should help the Rays build a new baseball stadium, is now saying Hillsborough County loses money when the Bucs play home games!!?!

And since the county also loses money maintaining a building when there aren't games being played in Hagan basically saying publicly-subsidized stadiums are a money pit?

To be fair, preseason games don't draw the same kind of crowds as regular-season games...but the majority of tickets are sold.  And advertisers do pay extra for preseason games.  And the stadium-related jobs politicians love to tout are filled on preseason game days too.

Also to be fair, Hagan has a history of flip-flopping on claims he's made:
Adding insult to injury, Hagan's guilty of bad math again, suggesting the TSA's take on non-Buccaneers profits will climb by "$200,000 to $250,000 a year."  But he's wrong.

The Bucs still keep the first $2 million of all profits from non-Buccaneers events (helluva deal, considering the county - not the team - owns the stadium), but they'll now give the TSA 67% of additional profits above that mark instead of the previous 50/50 split.

However, using this year as an example, the TSA is expected to generate $3 million in non-Buccaneers profits at the stadium, meaning $2.5 million for the Bucs and $500,000 for the county.  Under the new rules, the county would keep $666,667 of that money, an increase of just $166,667.  That's less than the $200,000 to $250,000 a year Hagan repeatedly quoted.

In fact, since 2010, Raymond James Stadium has only averaged $2.9 million of annual profit, meaning the TSA/Hillsborough County averaged $451,000 a year from non-Buccaneers events.  The new split will net the county $600,000 on $2.9 million of annual profit - a gain of just $149,000.

Hagan is no stranger to controversial comments: he recently claimed he is allowed to delete his government-related text messages that state law considers public records; he also said the Rays could mimic the Braves' somewhat shady behind-the-scenes stadium dealings

So what's the big deal about a little fuzzy math here or there?

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  1. People who are not bright have trouble developing unifying theories of the way they choose to think and the ways they choose to act. Their brains are undisciplined pin ball machines. Consistency does not matter to them. They say one thing on Monday and something opposite on Tuesday, and have no problem doing so. Their thoughts are not organized and purposeful and coherent, because they don't know to organize them and make them coherent. They are lumps of mental clay that never got molded into something. So they say whatever rattles through the brain at any given moment. These types of people are easily bought. Ken Hagan is one of these people.

    1. They're called politicians.