To Tampa Bay, Rays’ vote means a fresh chance

by Gary Shelton on January 15, 2016 · 8 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, 6 a.m.

After all of the politics, after all of the posturing, after both sides acting as if they were the ones driving the vehicle, the Rays' ability to look across Tampa Bay for a new stadium means this:

A new chance.

Perhaps a last chance.

This was the reason for the large exhale heard across Tampa Bay Thursday night. It wasn't so much that the populous believed that Stu Sternberg, wealthy guy, deserved a shiny new building. It was that he didn't deserve for it to be built in Montreal.

This way, Sternberg – and all of Tampa Bay – has a chance to hang onto its franchise through the coming years. It is a chance at a reboot — there are dozens of excuses, but fans weren't coming

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

scott myers January 15, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Hi Gary,
You state:
“Again, there are plenty of silly people to suggest that Tampa Bay come to the table with no funds whatsoever.”
Well then, count me as a silly person. A business (MLB) that can afford to pay the likes of Edwin Jackson, a career #4-#5 starter in the rotation, $77 million in career earnings does not need one dollar of taxpayer money. If some of MLB’s kids are poorer than others, than let the rich members of the family help the poor family members out. Isn’t that what good families do?


Gary Shelton January 15, 2016 at 7:46 pm

The reason they’re silly is that has zero change to attract a team. Zero.


scott myers January 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Hi Gary,

Then let the team leave, and don’t let the door hit them in the butt. We have 20 year old school buses that need to be replaced, which is much more important than providing entertainment for the upscale folks that can pay for the club suites at a price subsidized by the taxpayers.

If there are not enough baseball fans here to support a franchise, then, in the best interest of everybody, the team needs to move on. I will find someplace else to spend my money other than the TROP.


Gary Shelton January 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm

If that’s your vote, that doesn’t bother me at all. It wouldn’t be mine, but that’s why there is a ballot box.

Not sure this is the proper forum to quibble. My only statement was that it was silly to assume that the ownership loves Tampa so much they would come AND build a stadium. And it is silly.


scott myers January 15, 2016 at 8:25 pm

Hi Gary,
Under the current climate of MLB teams being highly successful in extorting funds from taxpayers to pay for new stadia, I cannot disagree with you.

IMHO, hopefully the tide will turn where many or all local governments say enough is enough. It would be great if Tampa Bay becomes the leader in this crusade. Call the Rays bluff – if they have a better place to be, why are they not already there? Oh, and, BTW, as they leave they will pay substantial dollars for breaking their 30 year lease.

Cecil DeBald January 15, 2016 at 7:18 am

I can only hope the powers to be can arrive at a stadium solution that encourages more fans to attend games and not only keeps the Rays in Tampa Bay, but helps them to be financially solvent enough to spend more on players, primarily keeping some of our young, rising stars. But I’m just not sure Tampa Bay can do that, and that kind of breaks my heart.


scott myers January 15, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Hi Cecil,

Even if more fans attend the games, it will have negligible effect on being able to spend enough additional money on players to keep the true rising stars, under the current revenue sharing plan. If MLB is interested in sustained competitive balance across all 30 teams, it needs to increase revenue sharing, and this is so easy to do. Note that the NFL provides 53% of its revenue to player salaries while MLB provides just 38%. What are the MLB owners doing with the 62% of its ever growing revenue pie? How about, instead of the owners continuing to extort money from taxpayers to build new stadia, with the one rare exception of the SF Giants, they take care of their less prosperous family members such as the Rays. It is to MLB’s benefit to have 30 healthy and stable franchises. If they want to play the relocation game, with its expense and risk involved, have at it.


Gary Shelton January 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm

You answered your own questions. They haven’t left already because it would cost them a lot of money for breaking their lease.

I never argue with a person about their vote. It’s their money. Again, this was never siding with either group of voters; just saying that a team isn’t going to come with Tampa without funds.


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