Earlier this week, Miami approved a $634 million stadium (right) for the Florida Marlins. While St. Pete Mayoral candidates are sparring over where to build a new stadium for the Rays, John Romano takes a look at how that deal does and does not affect the Rays quest for a new stadium.
Some of the key points…
- Romano says there is no direct impact but now that the Marlins have a stadium, the Rays’ and A’s quests for new stadiums will become priority A for the league.
- There have now been 22 stadiums planned and/or built since Tropicana Field was built in 1990.
- Romano gives us a none-too-subtle quote from Matt Silverman: “[Miami’s] willingness to invest $500 million in a baseball stadium and parking facilities are a strong indication of how much they value the Marlins, and baseball, in their community.”…In other words, how much does St. Pete value a major league team in theirs?
- About three-fourths of the Marlins deal comes from public funding which is an increase over recent stadium deals.
- The Rays have yet to make a threat of leaving, but Romano believes that if Pinellas County does not offer the Rays a strong solution, the team will start looking in Hillsborough County.
- Romano feels that if the Rays can’t secure a new stadium, Stuart Sternberg will sell the team.
The Biz of Baseball also tackles this issue, feeling that eventually the city will cave and give the Rays what they want…
I think it’s nearly a given. It’s a matter of timing…The Marlins took 15 years to land stadium funding. The Twins took over a decade, and the A’s are still looking after a considerable period of time. Call it water on rock, but over time – either through wearing out host cities, or undue fear of relocation – cities buckle under the constant pressure from multi-millionaire owners.
The Biz of Baseball also notes that the situation is not as dire for the Rays as it was for the Marlins who were losing out on revenue in their current stadium deal. They also say that ultimately it will come down to winning, and increasing the fan base.
Miami stadium deal for Marlins sends bay area up to bat [St. Pete Times]
1 Fish, 2 Fish: How the Marlins Stadium Deal Impacts the Rays [The Biz of Baseball]
Scott Wagman: New Rays stadium might not be in St. Pete [St. Pete Times]