Poking holes in the Rays’ fabric roof dreams

More reaction in today’s St. Petersburg Times on the Tampa Bay Rays stadium plan:

  • St. Petersburg city council member Herb Polson, who was a city official who worked on the financing of Tropicana Field two decades ago: “I think there is an awful lot to figure out in a very short time. … The developers’ proposals still have holes in them. Who is going to cover the demolition costs? Who is going to pay if there is environmental damage underneath the Tropicana?”

  • Times columnist Howard Troxler: “If the developer is really going to build all this neat-o stuff on Tropicana Field, hundreds of millions of dollars worth added to the tax rolls, how come we can’t get any guarantee at all? … An ironclad guarantee that the property-tax revenue, or an equivalent required payment from somebody, always covers the public’s share of the debt. If what the Rays and the developers claim is true, this shouldn’t be a problem ‚Äî heck, it shouldn’t even be a close call. It should be like dickering over floor mats once we’ve agreed to buy the car.”

  • Finally, four stadium experts weigh in on the financial plan: me, and economists Mark Rosentraub, Victor Matheson, and He Who Shall Not Be Named. Guess which one of the four thinks it’s a good idea?


One comment on “Poking holes in the Rays’ fabric roof dreams

  1. “That’s capitalism,” Prof. Zimbalist? Not any capitalism I ever learned in my Economics 101. Hope it’s not the capitalism you’re teaching to your students at Smith.