Saturday, August 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

The Rays definitely like Ybor City, and Ybor City seems to like the Rays. So what could possibly come between this match made in baseball stadium heaven? Hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of millions of dollars. Rays owner Stu Sternberg told Times reporter Marc Topkin last week that the team is tentatively looking at contributing $150 million to a potential $800 million stadium price tag. At first blush, that number seems low. That would equal 18.75 percent of the proposed cost. Now there are outliers, but recent history shows the typical team paying 20 to 35 percent of the cost of a Major League Baseball stadium. If thatís the trend, the Rays should be somewhere in the $160-$280 million range. Numbers vary from source to source, but here are examples of recent stadium deals.

Atlanta

The Braves left downtown Atlanta for the suburbs this spring in a deal that has strained the budget in Cobb County. Total stadium costs are listed at $672 million, with the Bravesí cash contribution at $230 million. The public funds come from increased property taxes, along with hotel and rental car taxes.

Teamís contribution: in the range of 34 percent

Miami

In one of the most ridiculed deals in recent memory, Miami-Dade built a new ballpark with numerous parking garages for the Marlins in 2012. The total cost was $639 million with former Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria contributing $155 million. Hotel taxes will be used to pay for bonds.

Teamís contribution: about 24 percent

Minnesota

Hennepin County used a sales tax increase to come up with the bulk of the $545 million cost for Target Field, which opened in downtown Minneapolis in 2010. Twins ownership kicked in $195 million of the stadiumís cost.

Teamís contribution: close to 36 percent

Washington

This is an example of the cost of trying to lure a team to your city. Washington, D.C., got MLB to agree to move the Expos from Montreal by essentially footing the entire $670 million bill for Nationals Park. Some reports indicate the team and MLB kicked in $31 million.

Teamís contribution: less than 5 percent

St. Louis

The Cardinals are the rare MLB team that largely took on the cost of building its own stadium. While the state added $43 million in infrastructure costs, the Cardinals paid the bulk of the $411 million stadium that opened in 2006. The team did, however, get a loan from the county as well as $200 million in bonds.

Teamís contribution: most of the cost

     
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Editorial: Did Rick Scottís wallet affect his epiphany on rail line?

Editorial: Did Rick Scottís wallet affect his epiphany on rail line?

Within weeks of taking office in 2011, Gov. Rick Scott made one of the worst decisions of his administration and refused $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando. Within months of leaving office, the governor...
Published: 08/17/18
Editorial: Hillsborough has a place among growing number of governments suing opioid makers

Editorial: Hillsborough has a place among growing number of governments suing opioid makers

Local governments across the land can find plenty of reasons to go after the drug industry over the crisis of opioid addiction.Hillsborough County can find more reasons than most.ē In 2016, the county led the state with 579 babies born addicted to dr...
Published: 08/17/18
Editorial: Hereís what needs to be done to stop algae blooms

Editorial: Hereís what needs to be done to stop algae blooms

The environmental crisis in South Florida has fast become a political crisis. Politicians in both parties are busy blaming one another for the waves of toxic algae blooms spreading out from Lake Okeechobee and beyond, fouling both coasts and damaging...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Editorial: Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy

Editorial: Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy

It is real news that the Hillsborough County School District said this week it will accelerate testing for lead in drinking water and release the results after the Tampa Bay Times reported testing would take years and that until we asked families wer...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/16/18

Bumping into GOP cowardice on guns

One small island of sanity in the generally insane ocean of American gun culture is the near-complete federal ban on civilian possession of fully automatic weapons ó machine guns.The nation got a bitter taste last year of what weíd be facing on a reg...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Editorial: Vaccinations are safe way to prevent measles

Editorial: Vaccinations are safe way to prevent measles

The revelation that three people in Pinellas County have contracted the measles virus should be a wake-up call to everyone to get vaccinated if they havenít been ó and to implore parents to immunize their kids. Contagious diseases such as measles can...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Editorial: Habitat for Humanity still has questions to answer about selling mortgages

Editorial: Habitat for Humanity still has questions to answer about selling mortgages

A good reputation can vanish overnight, which is why Habitat for Humanity of Hills-borough County made a smart decision by announcing it would seek to buy back 12 mortgages it sold to a Tampa company with a history of flipping properties. The arrange...
Published: 08/14/18
Editorial: Vote ó or a minority of the electorate will decide your future without you

Editorial: Vote ó or a minority of the electorate will decide your future without you

40%of Americans who were eligible to vote for president in 2016 just didnít bother. That number dwarfs the portion of all eligible voters who cast a ballot for President Donald Trump ó 27.6 percent ó or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton, 28.8 percent...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/17/18
Editorial: Why stand your ground has to go

Editorial: Why stand your ground has to go

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe made a reasonable decision to charge Michael Drejka with manslaughter in last monthís deadly Clearwater convenience store parking lot confrontation. The shooting, which erupted over use of a handicap parkin...
Published: 08/13/18
Editorial: Politics aside, arguments are clear for moving appellate court to Tampa

Editorial: Politics aside, arguments are clear for moving appellate court to Tampa

Itís time to re-establish a permanent home for the state appeals court that serves the Tampa Bay region.It makes sense to put it in Tampa, the same as it made sense 30 years ago when the courtís operations began moving piece by piece up Interstate 4 ...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18