I was halfway through this New York Times piece on the plight of the poor Tampa Bay Rays owners, stuck in “an unattractive venue” with a mayor “so intent on keeping the team in St. Petersburg” that he’s actually enforcing the lease that says they’ll stay there, and boggling at how closely it hews to ownership’s contention that only a move across the bay to Tampa can save them now, when I thought to look at the byline. Of course: Belson!!!
Belson does talk to a couple of people who are skeptical about a new stadium being a panacea (including economist Philip Porter, who I’ve cited here in the past). But then there are sentence like this one: “Moving the team to Tampa would put the Rays in a downtown hub that could lead to a blossoming of restaurants and shops, an upgrade compared with Tropicana Field, which is surrounded by parking lots, highways and undistinguished neighborhoods.” Or, you know, it could not.