Braves propose Tampa Bay spring training complex, MLB says “Hey, leave some subsidies for the Rays”

My apologies for not keeping you all updated before now on the Atlanta Braves spring training controversy in Tampa Bay, which has now managed to draw the Rays stadium mess into its orbit:

Tempest in a teacup, most likely, but a pretty darn entertaining one, if only for MLB having to come up with a way to say, “Thanks for throwing money at our spring training facilities, but please throw money at our big-league teams first.”

5 comments on “Braves propose Tampa Bay spring training complex, MLB says “Hey, leave some subsidies for the Rays”

  1. The Tampa Tribune has a long history of less-than-civic-minded advocacy for stadium projects. The Sports section has long been the “intellectual leader” of the paper, led by its editor, Tom MacEwan, who always saw the self-interest in having sports teams to cover.

    The Trib was a major advocate of bringing a baseball team to the Tampa Bay area, despite the fact that the ownership groups were thin on cash and the area not having the business density to support the team. The Trib also led the foolish drive for a new Bucs stadium, despite the awful lease that would have been easy fodder for any journalist wanting a Pulitzer.

    Because the team is located in St. Pete, the Tribune really doesn’t care much about civic finances and instead wants the most comfortable gameday experience for itself. Why anyone would be in a hurry to abrogate an iron-clad, city friendly lease is beyond me–particularly as it is unlikely that ANY other location in the Tampa location would significantly upgrade the team’s income.

  2. The Rays might not move to the suburbs. True, they might move to another city. For example, the city of Indianapolis might not only build a new stadium for the Rays but might pay the Rays penalties for leaving Florida. Heck, the city of Atlanta might do it and renovate Turner Field for the Rays.

  3. $662 million for a spring training complex???? That has to be at least three times as expensive as the next most costly facility (I recall the six year old Goodyear facility for the Reds and Indians costing an “eye popping” $105m).

  4. The question is not whether the Braves should get a new spring training stadium in the St. Pete area. The question that should be asked is what is the Braves’ business plan that allows them to make money in the St. Pete area while the Yankees and Rays are in the same area? If there is a way that three teams can make money in the same area in spring training, that has to be a lesson for how the Rays can bring-in more fans during the regular season.

    The Braves stadium rendering makes me think with a few extra thousand seats the Rays could use that same stadium for some games (Padres vs Rays interleague) during the regular season. But that would take cooperation between lodge members…