Tampa Sports Authority talks baseball stadium, briefly
The governing board that oversees sports arenas in Hillsborough County talked about but then rejected wading into the Tampa Bay Rays stadium debate Monday. With the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce forming a caucus to study creative financing options for a new stadium, City Council member Tom Scott posed the question. Scott serves as a member of the Tampa Sports Authority, which runs Raymond James Stadium and has served as a landlord of sorts of the St. Pete Times forum and the New York Yankees spring training complex. So it knows how to build and run a sports stadium. Shouldn’t the agency lend its expertise to the discussion? Scott asked. “If the train is going to leave the station, we need to be on it,” Scott said. Other board members of the Sports Authority questioned whether that could lead to perceptions that Hillsborough County is trying to steal the team from St. Petersburg. Their position prevailed and Scott’s suggestion went nowhere other sparking a consensus that Tampa Sports Authority officials will be available to anyone who has questions about building a stadium. “I think this is something that gets us into some legal barriers,” said authority board member Frank DeBose.