Tampa Bay Rays (31 days until pitchers and catchers report)
The Tampa Bay Rays claim that as much as $800 million in new local taxes will be generated for St. Petersburg over the next 35 years due to the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site. As part of the proposal for a new stadium along the St. Pete waterfront and the redevelopment of the land on which Tropicana Field sits, the Rays want 52% of those new taxes for building the new stadium. The other 48% would be distributed among local St. Pete agencies, with the biggest chunk (37%) going to the Pinellas and state school system. The remaining 11% would be split among other local entities.

The Tampa Bay Rays say the successful redevelopment of Tropicana Field and its parking lots could generate $5-million a year in new property tax revenues for state and Pinellas schools. If the redevelopment includes retail, millions of dollars more could flow into the city and county coffers each year through sales tax payments.

That money, which would not help build a new Rays stadium for the Rays, could be used to build new schools or new parks or pay teachers or police officers more, the Rays say.

If the $800 million turns out to be $400 million, the Rays would still get their stadium and the Pinellas and state school systems would get nothing. Therefore, the Rays hopes for a new stadium may be dependent on proving that the redevelopment of Tropicana Field can indeed generate the $800 million they are projecting.

Rays say schools gain in redevelopment [TampaBay.com]

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Stacy Long revealed his list of the Top 30 Tampa Bay Rays prospects. We have updated our Meta-Analysis of Rays Prospects to include Long’s list. Long’s list is of special value as he covers the AA Montgomery Biscuits and has seen most of these players first-hand. We are also now including a link to the meta-analysis in the side-panel. [Stacy Long's Riverwalk Talk]
  • Depending on the final numbers for the Rays final four remaining arbitration-eligible players, the Rays will most likely have an opening day payroll greater than $40 million. Based on our own projections, we place the final number just north of $41 million. This will be greater than the Rays promise of a 20% increase over their 2007 opening day payroll. Marc Topkin also includes his projected 25-man payroll and opening day lineup. The projection is very similar to our own, including Juan Salas not being on the roser. The only exception is giving the final roster spot to Justin Ruggiano and having Joel Guzman as the opening day third baseman in place of Evan Longoria. This is an idea that we are starting to warm up to. [TampaBay.com]
  • Joe Maddon wants to emphasize fundamentals in Spring Training. [TBO]

“I’m going to apply a lot of pressure to the coaches and myself this spring training to make sure we get these fundamentals down appropriately,” Maddon said. “We’ve talked about them for two years; I believe this group is ready to put them into play. I believe this group is ready to take what we’re talking about and execute them. I believe this group will accept constructive criticism well and be accountable for their actions.

  • Voros McCracken thinks the Rays still have a lot of work to do before they are ready to start competing. One of his biggest cautionary notes is that “Young pitchers (the strength of the Devil Rays system) will break your heart in a thousand different ways”. Everybody knows this, but the strength of the system is not just young pitching. It is the depth of young pitching. The Rays don’t need all their young pitching prospects to succeed. Just some of them. [Voros McCracken]
  • The Rays have made official their plans to play a three-games series against the Blue Jays at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex. The move is contingent on the approval of the St. Pete city counsel. [Bradenton Herald]
  • John Sickels reviews his Top 50 pitching prospects from 2007 and how they performed last season. Matt Garza was Sickels’ #2 pitching prospect with four other Rays that were on the list. [Minor League Ball]
  • He says there have been no problems, but it seems a bit worrisome that we are only a month from Spring Training and Rocco Baldelli is only running three days a week. [Rotoworld]
  • We are not sure why we are posting a link to this because it is really not news-worthy, but it does make as chuckle a little bit. Turns out, two downtown St. Pete condo associations are opposed to the proposed stadium. Why? Because the new stadium will block their view of the water. Don’t get us wrong, we understand that will have an effect on the property value, but with the numbers that are being tossed around (ie. $800 million in new tax revenue) there is ZERO chance that the fate of the new stadium will rest on whether a few condo-owners can see Tampa Bay. [Tampa Bay Parent]
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