Sunday, March 12, 2017

Looking at Spring Training & Rowdies Crowds

As you recover from a weekend full of Spring Training, the Grand Prix of St. Pete, the Valspar Championship, countless other Tampa-area sporting events...and oh yeah, March Madness.....here's a pair of sports business reads from the last week you shouldn't miss:
  1. Can Tampa Bay Support MLS?  Times' columnist John Romano echoes some of the concerns made by this blog about adding a fourth big-league team to a sports market already stretched very very thin.  He also wonders about that $150 million expansion price tag, on top of $80 million in supposedly-self-financed stadium renovations.
  2. Spring Training Attendance Down: Watchdog blogger Tom Rask is not impressed by the attendance numbers from the start of spring training.  Especially as the Blue Jays seek tens of millions of dollars from taxpayers to renovate & expand their Dunedin home.  Anecdotally, I've been able to get Tampa Yankees tickets pretty easily online at the last minute (despite $40 million in renovations this winter) and there have been a lot of empty seats seen in Florida stadiums during some recent telecasts.  Hmmmmm.





FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Twitter
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Facebook

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ken Hagan Does Not Like This Blog

Shadow of the Stadium's favorite Tampa-area stadium cheerleader, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, finally answered a few questions about his secret talks with the Tampa Bay Rays (and other topics).

Check out the sometimes-uncomfortable video and fact-checking here.

Hagan has been ignoring my interview requests for years now, and I'm sure this story won't improve the relationship.  But public "servants" need to answer to the public.  And as a watchdog, these were important questions that needed answering.

Highlights include:
  • Arguing why his flip-flopping on public funds for a new Rays stadium wasn't a flip-flop;
  • Contending that raising the hotel tax (and possibly rental car tax) doesn't count as raising taxes;
  • Acknowledging he shouldn't be conducting county business on his personal cell phone;
  • Blowing off a question about all the other things bed tax revenues could pay for, other than stadiums.
So again, check out lots of material on WTSP.com here.  The full story airs tonight at 11pm on 10News, Tampa Bay's CBS.






FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Twitter
FOLLOW: Shadow of the Stadium on Facebook