When the Tampa Bay Rays unveiled their plan for a $450 million open-air stadium along the downtown St. Pete waterfront, the plan included a $60 million state subsidy. The $60 million would come as a tax rebate of $2 million per year for 30 years. In order to push the rebate through the state legislature, the Rays need two local lawmakers to sponser the proposal. If a recent survey of Pinellas County lawmakers is any indication, the Rays better start working on Plan B.

The overwhelming majority of the Rays’ hometown lawmakers – the 12 members of the Pinellas County delegation that would be most likely to push the team’s interest – sound unwilling or uninterested in aiding the Rays when contacted by the St. Petersburg Times this week…Of the 11 members the Times reached, none said they were likely to sponsor a subsidy bll for the Rays. Most, in fact, said they were hesitant to support the subsidy even if it was sponsored by someone else. “Put me down as a no,” state Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island. “Not a maybe. A no.”

It’s as if the Rays have 12 parents and so far 11 of them have either said “No” or “Go ask your mother”. The Rays claim that they will still proceed with the new stadium proposal even if they fail to secure the $60 million subsidy. This should come as no surprise to baseball fans as the Rays clearly have money burning holes in their pockets.

Delegation uninterested in Rays’ wish [St. Pete Times]



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