Thursday, January 14, 2016

DONE DEAL: St. Pete Council Approves Rays Deal

St. Pete - and the rest of Tampa Bay - appear to be ready to just move this dang thing forward.  And by a 5-3 vote St. Pete's council approved Mayor Rick Kriseman's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will give the team permission to explore new stadium sites in Tampa.

So what's next?

We know the team is anxious to explore any and all sites across Pinellas & Hillsborough counties, since there's a great need to make the next stadium site "pitch-perfect".  Everyone with a pile of dirt will be offering up their stadium ideas.  And if the Rays were to build another stadium in the wrong location, it'd be a disaster.

But why focus so much of this conversation on locations and not financing?  Building a stadium with the wrong financing package could be a disaster too (see Miami, Columbus, or Cincinnati).

Pro teams want you to focus on the boogeyman and not how much money they want from you for that next stadium. 

And it's working. 

The Tampa Bay Times published another editorial this morning urging the deal's passage - an editorial with three major flaws - and of course, there was no mention of the tax money that would go toward the next stadium. 

What's not next?

We shouldn't expect the team to willingly open their books and demonstrate a need for public help.  And even though both papers once suggested they should, we haven't heard that responsible request from the Times in years.

The exposure to the taxpayer on a new stadium is likely to be great.  Elected officials may decide the expenditures are justified.  But the Rays won't address that giant elephant, and it would just be nice to have some idea of what kind of public dollars the Rays are gunning for before we go any further down this road.





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10 comments:

  1. "Everyone with a pile of dirt will be offering up their stadium ideas. And if the Rays were to build another stadium in the wrong location, it'd be a disaster."

    Really Noah? There aren't that many piles of dirt that are even available and of those, there are practically none that would work for a suitable baseball stadium.

    Not only that, but as you say, financing is a huge concern. There are NO developers lining up to pay for a stadium in order to develop the Trop site. And if there were, it would be cheaper for them to wait a few years and let the Rays leave before they start building, thereby avoiding the pay to build scenario.

    I think this may be it for the Rays in the Tampa Area.

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  2. Orlando City is financing their own stadium in Orlando. They're getting tax breaks I believe, but still they're the ones paying for it. So that's one more example to add to the list.

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    1. As far as I know, they've even agreed to pay property taxes on their stadium, as well... imagine that.

      That'll probably be an exception that proves the rule, though. Just wait another 20 years, when the Magic start crying out for a new arena.

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  3. The only thing the vote will change is the public knowledge of the work ahead, but not the years of "behind-the-scenes" work on the move. It will be interesting how they juggle the media part to act as if they JUST started the process. And again for doubters, just because it's not reported doesn't mean nothing was happening between the Rays, Tampa, and financial partners...

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    1. B. Dufula - Please share with us all you know!

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  4. Mexico will have a team before Montreal

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  5. Yay! Progress! Still a ways to go, but this is good news.

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  6. While I'm happy there is finally some progress, I'm still cautious. Nobody know how to pay for this stadium, and it's not like last night gave us a guarantee the Rays are staying. The Rams were allowed to look for stadium sites, but they still ended up moving to Los Angeles. I'm cautiously happy.

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