Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Public Service Announcement Regarding Rays' New Stadium

For all you baseball fans in Hillsborough County hoping for a new Rays stadium, just remember that every land owner with a few acres of dirt thinks he/she has the perfect new stadium location.

But the biggest impediment to a new stadium in Tampa isn't land; it's financing

Yet, for all the folks speculating about potential new sites for a Rays stadium, nobody - including Rays owner Stu Sternberg - wants to talk about how Hillsborough County might somehow pay for a new stadium.

This should be part of the conversation right now, however; financing remains the single-biggest reason the Rays won't be moving to Tampa anytime soon.  The county is tapped out with no new revenues in sight.  Just ask the folks trying to patch the county's broken roadways.

Unless I'm wrong and a politician like Hillsborough Co. Commissioner/stadium cheerleader/transportation advocate Ken Hagan was quietly thinking of lumping stadium construction in with transportation expansion

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  1. Sternberg, the Mets fan, spent his first career analyzing businesses and structuring deals. In Tampa Bay, he carefully analyzed the purchase of a three-speed bicycle. Then he bought the three-speed bicycle and has ridden the three-speed bicycle to a nice little gain in franchise value. Yesterday, he vented to his media mouthpiece that he is "discouraged" that he owns a three-speed bicycle. No one marketed the franchise to him as a tank. He knew what it was when he purchased it. There is no one anywhere to blame but himself. There is no bailout here for the banker. Sniff elsewhere. As we also saw in the news, 1 in 5 Americans with debt believe they will die with that debt. And this rich guy is about to ask for a 700M handout for his "industry." Sports franchise owner as victim. Really, this country's priorities are turned so completely upside down. Sternberg, GFY.

  2. @AnonymousDecember 9, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    You nailed it. MLB has to take care of its own instead of expecting taxpayers to subsidize the less prosperous members of its family.

    In 1998 Maricopa County taxpayers paid for 71% of the cost of the baseball stadium for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The stadium cost $354 million, so the taxpayers are on the hook for $251 million ($366 million in 2015 dollars). The Diamondbacks just signed Zack Greinke to a a 6-year $206 million contract to pitch during his years aged 33-38. I wonder if the Maricopa County taxpayers might be a little bit peeved to know that they are financing wealth beyond imagination for this one person because the team did not pay for anywhere near 100% of the stadium cost.

    When will this ridiculousness end?

    If it comes to pass, nobody, except the Rays and/or MLB baseball should pay for a new stadium, wherever that may be!

    Per in 2001 total MLB revenues were $3.58 billion ($4.79 billion in 2014 dollars) and 56% of those revenues went to players’ salaries.

    In 2014, total MLB revenues were $7.86 billion and just 38% (see ) went to players’ salaries, even with the many ridiculously stupid long-term contracts that are negotiated, and you can now add the contracts of David Price,Zack Greinke, Jeff Samardzija, and Jordan Zimmerman to the list. And keep in mind, these new entries to the list are all pitchers, who play, at most, once every 5 games!

    So revenues (in 2014 dollars) after deducting for player salaries were $2.1 billion in 2001 and $4.9 billion in 2014. That is an increase of $2.8 billion which averages out to $93 million per team. To build a $600 million stadium costs just $34 million per year assuming 4%/30 year terms.

    What have MLB and MLB owners done with all this extra money? Keep in mind that their slice of this ever growing pie will continue to get bigger in the coming years?

    During the Bud STEALig era (1992-2015), 21 new MLB stadiums were built, 20 of which received substantial public funding. Not only did 20 MLB clubs get lots of public money, not even one of them opened their books to show why they needed public money!

    The MLB family is doing ‘off the charts’ well. It is way past time for it to do a much better job of sharing more of its wealth with its less prosperous family members such as the Tampa Bay Rays.

    For taxpayers to pony up even a dime for a new stadium for any team is obscene. That is like providing publicly funded college scholarships for Warren Buffet’s and Bill Gates’ kids.

  3. Of course, why would THEY show their hand? It's for them to know, and us to speculate or "investigate"...

  4. You should listen to the the internet-newspaper-sports section-reading "shills" on 620. They actually think Sternberg and sports team owners in general, are victims.