Opening day Rays fans support, oppose new stadium

With the Tampa Bay Rays playing their home opener last night, the St. Petersburg Times reported that fans at Tropicana Field “had clear thoughts on what they want, and don’t want, to see happen.” Those clear thoughts included:

  • If the Rays have a good year, it “could start a domino effect” for a new stadium.
  • “If we win it all, it’s still not going to make the Trop the Taj Mahal.”
  • “To build a whole new stadium when this one is perfectly fine does not make sense to me, fiscally.”

Those are clear individually, I suppose, though it’s hard to say what they add up to. And they’re certainly clearer than the statements by Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, who ignored Noah Pransky’s call to be more directly involved in the stadium process; asked whether he’d support options for a possible move to Hillsborough County included in the ABC Coalition report, Sternberg replied: “I didn’t disagree with much of what they said in the report,” adding, “I don’t expect to be mouthing off or anything. We’ll take it day by day.”

ESPN’s Rob Neyer, meanwhile, noting that the Rays’ lease lasts through 2027, says he doesn’t expect them to still be playing there then, “but what happens between now and then, I’m having a hard time seeing.” Him and Sternberg both, I imagine.

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2 comments on “Opening day Rays fans support, oppose new stadium

  1. Hi Neil,

    I’ve loved the site for years. Can you provide a list of Pro sports stadiums in America which were built without public funds/tax breaks? I’m guessing the list is fairly small. Are there any?

  2. Depends how you define the question. Does building it on publicly owned land count? What about tax breaks that are routinely handed out to lots of developers? A lease that’s below market rate?

    Probably the best gauge of this stuff is Judith Grant Long’s research (click on “Resources” at left for a link), which takes into account both public costs and revenues. Look at the “% public” column – if it’s negative, then you have that rare case where taxpayers were paid back all their money and then some.

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