Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rays Ramp Up for Offseason Stadium "Progress"

According to a Marc Topkin notes column this weekend, Rays owner Stu Sternberg actually seems more optimistic about the team's progress off-the-field than its success on-the-field, for once:
"I'd like to get a real good sense of things between November and before opening day," he said. "So somewhere in that period, while there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, we're going to have to have some real progress."
Sternberg's satisfaction means those tough decisions for local politicians are inching closer, which begs the following questions:
  1. Will conversations be transparent and open this offseason?  We've seen some of St. Pete's ideas publicly vetted, but zero transparency thus far from Ken Hagan & Bob Buckhorn on the Tampa side of the bay.
  2. What will Pinellas Co. do about the expected spring training "ask" from Dunedin & the Blue Jays, when they probably don't have enough in their bed tax piggybank to make both the Blue Jays and Rays happy?
  3. How many financial resources will St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman offer the Rays to stay downtown?  There's a case to be made the city is already negotiating against itself since Hillsborough doesn't have many public dollars to offer at all.
  4. And finally, wherever the Rays want to build, the question lingers of how many dollars should come from the public when economists are pretty darn sure the team (worth hundreds of millions) and league (worth billions) stand to gain much more than taxpayers
Oh, and is it a bad time to mention MLB owners just sold 1/3 of its MLB Advanced Media product for more than a billion dollars???

That's a $33 million check for each of the league's 30 owners. And they didn't have to sell a single ounce of MLB's traditional business since the deal only includes MLBAM, which operates digital products for the NHL, WWE, HBO, and other heavy-hitters.

Regardless, there promises to be a lot of headlines to keep this blog busy this offseason.

And we haven't even gotten to the fun stuff, like how Pinellas or Hillsborough would guarantee the Rays ink an ironclad contract, which appears to be harder-and-harder to come by? Just ask Islanders fans:

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  1. I'm guessing by some of your more summative posts that you understand more then you lead others to believe, but again, MLB isn't in the real estate business or governing, St.Pete's purpose is a political move to show passion in trying to keep their cash-cow & biggest business in town, while Tampa's is to continue real "progress" on a real business deal.
    Also, needing "transparency" is for weak "investigating reporters" and publicly owned & non-profit businesses...

    1. Actually, MLB is very much in the real estate business. And it's shift toward ancillary development has come at the expense of taxpayers:


  2. They really do have a lot of different ways of generating revenue other than just fans in the seats.