In my latest piece for Business Insider, I wonder if fans would be more willing to commit tax dollars to new stadiums if they were given ownership of the team in return. This is particularly relevant to the Rays as they seek a new stadium in the Bay Area during a tough economic period.
In Forbes’ most recent valuations of Major League teams, they listed the Rays’ value at $316 million. Would the citizens of Tampa or St. Pete be more willing to finance a new $500 million stadium if the Rays gave the city (or cities) 20% of the team (~$60 million)?
In addition to the potential for increasing the value of the team and the city’s investment, there would also be the added reassurance that the team could not up and move with the city as a minority owner.
Would this work? Maybe not. But we do know that if the Rays want a new stadium in Tampa or St. Pete, they are going to have to be creative with the financing, or it will never happen.
If Teams Want Fans To Pay For Stadiums, They Should Give Fans Some Ownership [Business Insider]