Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

An intriguing idea in the wrong spot

The charts were interesting, and the drawings were spectacular.

If you sat through a developer's two-hour presentation of "Rays Park at Carillon'' on Friday, you might be convinced it was the perfect answer to Tampa Bay's remarkably expanding attendance woes.

Unfortunately, it is not.

It may one day be a last-resort answer. It may be tweaked enough to qualify as a best-we've-got answer. But it is a long, long way from the perfect answer.

If I had to guess, I'd say about 15 miles away.

Please understand, this is not meant to be an insult to CityScape's vision. They have invested a lot of time and money in this project, and it's an idea well worth exploring.

But I have a hard time believing the Rays will embrace it any time soon.

If you have not discerned it by now, the Rays are hopeful of exploring a new stadium in downtown Tampa. They have never actually said this, but nor have they said B.J. Upton will soon be walking out the door. You just sort of accept it as the way things are.

Here's the bottom line:

For all the cool graphics and ideas at the Carillon site, it is still just a few minutes north of the Tropicana Field location. And that, by any measure, has been a disaster.

The Rays are last in Major League Baseball in average attendance. Mind you, this is a team coming off consecutive playoff appearances, is in the midst of another pennant chase and potential 90-win season, and is still dead last in attendance.

I'm not suggesting we debate the reasons again. Suffice to say, there are plenty. Some are totally legitimate, and well beyond the average fan's control.

But owner Stu Sternberg has to look at last-place attendance during a team's glory years, and wonder what will happen when it eventually has a losing season.

In other words, he has to have deep, deep reservations about this market.

And that means he is going to hold out for the perfect stadium. Anything else does not make sense. Anything else is a $600 million mistake.

Now the CityScape folks did a nice job of addressing some concerns. They talked about the number of corporations nearby, and the disposable income among residents within a 30-minute drive.

The stadium design itself was fascinating, and they had some interesting ideas about building it as part of a multi-use project even if their space and finance projections seemed drastically optimistic.

At the very least, the presentation is worthy of a dignified response. And that means the Rays are now up to the plate.

Granted, this puts Sternberg in a tricky spot. If he shoots down Carillon he runs the risk of alienating the fans he does have in Pinellas. That won't help in the short term at Tropicana Field, or even the long term if fans eventually have to drive to Tampa.

Still, the Rays wanted a discussion and now they have one.

So perhaps this is the impetus to finally talk seriously. To explain why mid-Pinellas may not be any better than downtown St. Pete. To point out the potential advantages at Channelside, or any other site the Rays might be eyeing.

Citizens in Pinellas County have been on the hook for Tropicana Field for nearly 25 years. Folks in Hillsborough may one day contribute to a stadium of their own. This has to be a partnership.

And we need to hear what our partners are thinking.

Comments
The Daystarter: Prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; and yeah a bunch more stories about Gasparilla

The Daystarter: Prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; and yeah a bunch more stories about Gasparilla

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• It’s jacket weather this morning, but temperatures should warm up pleasantly, to the upper 60s, according to 10Weather WTSP. And we’re tracking the weather ahead of Gasparill...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Changing the shape of food

Changing the shape of food

Diners began with a warm hand towel sprayed lightly with a subtle lavender fragrance, a way to wake up the palate. From there, guests were presented with a white enamel spoon, an "amuse bouche" of blood orange sorbet, sweet and tangy.This was not lun...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Well it’s that time of year again, the arrival of the Florida State Fair, or as it might otherwise be known — the yearly gastronomical death march.As always, the fair, which runs from Feb. 8-19, will feature the usual assortment of thrill rides, carn...
Published: 01/24/18
Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

I grew up on my mom’s lasagna alla Bolognese, composed of emerald green spinach noodles layered with robust ground meat sauce and creamy bechamel. To many Italian food lovers, this is the ideal against which all others are measured. But the world of ...
Published: 01/24/18
Lightning beats Predators in overtime

Lightning beats Predators in overtime

NASHVILLE — Steven Stamkos’ celebration said it all.The Lightning captain delivered an emphatic fist pump after his rocket one-timer clanked in off the crossbar, tying the score with just over two minutes left at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. T...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 23

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 55, Canterbury 53Girls basketballBoca Ciega 65, Largo 19
Updated: 6 hours ago

Hernando sheriff: Shooter injures three; in standoff with SWAT

BROOKSVILLE — A shooter was on the loose Tuesday night after injuring three victims, according to Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis.The sheriff would not say if there were any fatalities.The Sheriff’s Office received a report about the at about 9 p.m. Dep...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago
Sheriff: Pasco man planned, then carried out neighbor’s execution

Sheriff: Pasco man planned, then carried out neighbor’s execution

HOLIDAY — A neighborhood dispute ended in gunfire when one neighbor executed another on Tuesday, deputies said, as the victim kneeled in his own front yard begging for his life.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the execution, which took place ju...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Career Q&A: Sharpen interview skills to overcome impression of shyness

Career Q&A: Sharpen interview skills to overcome impression of shyness

Q: At the end of a recent interview, the manager told me that I would not be getting the job. He said I wasn’t a good fit for the position because I was shy. As a naturally introverted person, I found this very discouraging. How can I avoid similar p...
Updated: 8 hours ago