Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.
So ... no community is "a winner" unless it has a billion-dollar MLB stadium?
Think Pittsburgh is "a winner"? How about Detroit? Oakland, California?
And ... apparently ... Wrigley and Fenway then make Chicago and Boston "losers", right?
Location, historical aura, overall quality of life, cultural resources, recreational and entertainment opportunities, high levels of education, high-paying jobs, sufficient and good-quality infrastructure and public services, an involved and informed citizenry ... those are but a few of the kinds of things that make communities "winners" ... not an over-the-top MLB stadium. (Did the arrival in Tampa of the National Football League some 37 years ago turn that community into "a winner"?)
You can maintain a uni-dimensional interest in baseball and judge everything by that standard if you so choose ... but don't expect a majority of people in ANY community to share in your uni-dimensional measure of what constitutes "a winner" community.
Do the arithmetic to find the annual payment on a $700 million mortgage at even just 4% over 30 years ... and you'll discover that filling that new stadium's 36,000 new and over-the-top seats for EVERY homegame ... DOES NOT generate sufficient additional income (over the 20,000 attending games at Tropicana) to make the annual payment on the construction loan ... let alone funding the ongoing maintenance, insurance, utilities and repairs and replacements along the way. No such stadium EVER pays for itself ... which is why the billionaire Wall Street fatcats who own the teams want the dumbed-down taxpayers to pay for it!
(You know ... privatize the profits ... and socialize the expenses! Let the dumb taxpayers pay for the stadium that will be nothing but a loser of a money pit ... while the hedge-funders reap the profits ... and ... more important than ANYthing else ... the ego-rush!)
What, exactly, do you mean by a "losing proposition"? The Rays are very profitable as is and where is ... and as long as they honor their obligations under their use agreement for Tropicana Field ... the City and Pinellas County are NOT "losing" anything. So ... where's the "losing proposition"?
If there's ANYthing that represents a "losing proposition" ... see Marlins' Stadium! That almost $700 million of taxpayers money is a "losing proposition" in perpetuity!
Do the arithmetic.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! Keep peddling!
There's NO NEED for the Rays to meet with ANYone on the local political scene ... UNLESS they're looking for free money. if they were going to "do it themselves" ... they would simply go and do it ... which ... obviously ... they are not!
And ... as with any commercial lease ... the ONLY statutory "fair and equitable" way to handle it is for the lessee to either fulfill its terms and conditions as written ... or ... to pay off all the obligations due thereunder. The City only "loses" if the Rays do not fulfill their obligation in full ... as would be the case for any lessor confronted with a bankrupt lessee or a lessee who skips out on his lease ... and is bust ... or can't be found.
Do you see the banks letting homeowners out of their mortgages by simply allowing them pay only half of the amount that was contracted for ??? NOT!
All the deep pockets have to do is pay off whatever remains of the lease when any new stadium is ready ... probably in about five years as a minimum ... which would leave only 1/3 of the existing lease left to pay off.
Former hedge fund managers should be able to line up all the investors that they could ever need. And, if Sternberg does "not need one red cent of public money" ... he SHOULD MAKE AN UNEQUIVOCAL PUBLIC STATEMENT to that effect ... following which ... I'm sure ... he'd become a "winner" (instead of a "whiner") in the public's eye. The more he jerks around with trying to worm out of the Tropicana lease ... the more reviled he'll become.
Simple fact is, whether tkrng wants to admit it or not, and he won't, when the Rays leave the Trop, a lot of the businesses downtown will also go bye bye....Even Ferg's will close up and Mark has already said he will go where the new stadium is.....Then to top it off, if "The Lens" gets built in place of the Pier, then downtown will really be a struggle....Tkrng can argue all he wants that a ML team brings nothing in $$$$ revenue to the city, but he is totally wrong and just being ignorant to the facts that the Rays bring tons of money into the area, and that's not even counting the number players and Rays personnel who live here, have bought homes here and pay property taxes and put money into the city and area businesses all year round......Except for a few meaningless football games and home shows, the Trop sits there doing nothing in the off season because there are much better and more modern venues for other events in other areas of Tampa Bay..... The Rays are winners, but the Trop is a loser!!
Just ask the people in Denver what having the Rockies has meant to the city in terms of $$$ and what it has done to one of the worst areas in the city, the Lo Do district and how that has been rebuilt and revitalized and become the "in" place to go before and after games and during the off season and the money it brings into the city coffers! What did the city of St. Pete do to revitaslize the immediate area around the Trop? Nothing, nada, zilch, zero!