Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rob Manfred, Stu Sternberg Make it Clear Taxpayers Had Better Bring Their A-Game on Rays Stadium Offers

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made a visit to Tampa Bay and told reporters yesterday...more of the same stuff he's been saying for years.

Manfred said the Rays are in great need of a "major league-quality facility" (to which I ask, when did it stop becoming one?), and said talks needed to be put on "the front-burner" (to which, I ask, have they not been?!?).

In fact, Tom Jones penned a column this morning asking the same rhetorical question, "Wait, it hasn't already been on the front burner?"

Jones continues:
"Manfred said a new stadium needs government support, which sounds an awful lot like, "Hey, don't expect my buddy Stu to pay for this thing." Manfred also said he has no preference where the stadium is built.
And that's why this thing is taking so long. The Rays have refused to talk money for nine years. Despite promising transparency. And it has halted any real progress.
After all, the whole conversation about the perfect site is a big ole distraction to the real issue: funding. And its a way for the Rays to pit Hillsborough against Pinellas, which is already happening. I mean, how do you go shopping for a home without knowing if you're working with a Hyde Park budget or a Pinellas Park budget??

Not much has changed in terms of transparency over the years:

Meanwhile, back to Manfred, his comments yesterday weren't any different than what he said a month ago at the All-Star Game, where Field of Schemes summarized, "I think we may need to just admit that Rob Manfred is not very good at this move threat thing...Rays and Oakland A’s fans should be grateful, I suppose, since they don’t have to wake up to “Manfred says [your team here] could move without new stadium” headlines today.

Well, here in Tampa Bay, we woke up to headlines today of more Manfred non-threat threats, even though his most recent comments were really no different than any others.

In 2016, he said relocation was "possible" if the situation reached a point of "desperation"...but they weren't there yet.  In 2015, he suggested it was time for Tampa Bay to step up its stadium game. And earlier that year, he basically said local taxpayers needed to be prepared to cough up some dough to keep the Rays long-term...or else.

Nine years after all the Stadium Saga fearmongering started, whattaya know - the team is still here...and we aren't really any closer to building a new stadium in Tampa Bay.

Unless, of course, you count the fact that politicians like Commissioner Ken Hagan, who once campaigned on "no public dollars" for a stadium, have warmed the public up to the idea of spending hundreds of millions of public dollars to make a deal happen.

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  1. "What YOU don't know, can't" be happening!, huh?

  2. Stadiums being used as anchors for other mass developments? No, this blog wouldn't say that. Like the future of Tampa, like St.Loius.