Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Sports Illustrated on Rays stadium: If they build it, they should pay for it

As the Rays revealed their dream ballpark with hopes to make Tampa a baseball destination in the future, it came with a hefty price tag. A price tag of almost a billion dollars.

Rays team president Brian Auld said the team doesn't have answers as to how they will fund the dream, and Jon Tayler at Sports Illustrated says the public should not be on the hook for millions.

RELATED: Your first look at Rays new stadium renderings

The modern stadium in historical Ybor City can result in the same future for residents of other cities who have completed new ball parks in the past decade. Tayler said the projects in Washington D.C., New York, Minneapolis, Miami and Atlanta have caused taxpayers to hand over money to "absurdly rich owners, all whom cried poor when time came to pay," while they could have improved local infrastructure or better salaries for civil servants.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said he expects the team to contribute more than $150 million toward the $892 million ball park.

Private financing and local businesses will unlikely bring in more than a few hundred million, says Tayler, which can leave about as much as half a billion to the county.

The city is funding transportation and education departments and trying to trim its budget by more than $31 million in the upcoming year. Tayler said Tampa will likely not receive any help from the state, which has stated its opposition to the public funding of stadiums, acknowledging the more than one billion dollars hanging over Miami after the Marlins park.

RELATED: Joe Henderson: Road to new Rays stadium will be a wild ride

Auld proposed that the Ybor City stadium will serve as a year-round park and facility for residents, turning a ball park pitch into a community pitch, but Tayler said the theory has been proven wrong and there is "no financial justification for sinking taxpayer money into athletic facilities."

Even though Forbes lists the team's worth as nearly a billion dollars, and the Rays' TV deal has them reeling in $82 million a year over the next 15 years, their payroll is just $91 million. With their failure to invest in their roster, Tayler questions whether the franchise deserves the public's investment.

Tropicana Field limits the team's ability to compete and their attendance is consistently low in the league, and relocation to Ybor City in a smaller, more intimate stadium is sparking interest in fans, but according to Tayler, the stadium's progress should not rely on the public's pockets.

Comments
Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

Rays calling up Meadows, plus Hu, Milner, Pruitt but not Wong

UPDATE, 1:14: Cash said this is expected to be the extent of the callups, so that sounds like a no for Wong and the others. … Meadows is understandably of the most interest and Cash said he is excited to see him, but acknowledged it will be a l...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

For starters: Rays at Rangers, playing for something

UPDATE, 1:09: The Rays are talking a little bit more about the possibilities of making it to the playoffs, RHP Tyler Glasnow sharing a view similar to Snell: "Everybody in this clubhouse is getting ready for  a wild-card game." .. Yarbrough is e...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why Blake Snell should win the AL Cy Young Award

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why Blake Snell should win the AL Cy Young Award

Rays pitcher Blake Snell becomes baseball's first 20-game winner and deserves to win the AL Cy Young Award, Rick Stroud says on today's podcast. Snell picks up the victory as the Rays  blank the Rangers to move 18 games above .500.Plus, Buc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the things that has made Blake Snell so good this season for the Rays is his refusal to be satisfied with anything he does.No matter how well he pitches, he finds flaws in his performance and identifies something ...
Published: 09/19/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

LHP Blake Snell certainly gets the bulk of the credit for his remarkable season, and there's definitely some due to pitching coach Kyle Snyder. But don't ignore C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes throwing to and has been both a good target and a calming ...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays journal: Ji-Man Choi impresses fellow South Korean major-leaguer

Rays journal: Ji-Man Choi impresses fellow South Korean major-leaguer

ARLINGTON, Texas — DH Ji-Man Choi has impressed a lot of people with his increasing offensive production since joining the Rays in July.That includes fellow South Korean Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers' veteran outfielder/DH who has been keeping tab...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

UPDATE, 6:53: Cash said he and others around the team are excited about the possibility of Snell getting his 20th win, and also that they obviously want to win the game. Cash showed it by starting C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes to throw to. … M...
Published: 09/18/18
Rays morning after: Choi on an impressive pace

Rays morning after: Choi on an impressive pace

Ji-Man Choi doesn't want to get caught up in the numbers game.In leading the Rays to a 3-0 win over the Rangers on Monday, Choi hit his eighth homer in 43 games/146 at-bats since getting called up.That projects over a full season to roughly 30-plus h...
Published: 09/18/18
Blake Snell goes for a Rays’ rarity, his 20th win Tuesday

Blake Snell goes for a Rays’ rarity, his 20th win Tuesday

ARLINGTON, Texas — Blake Snell is still focused on smaller numbers that can have a larger impact, specifically the 61/2 games his Rays are behind the A's for the final American League playoff spot after  a 3-0 victory over the Rangers on M...
Published: 09/17/18
Rays journal: Tyler Glasnow strong in victory over Rangers

Rays journal: Tyler Glasnow strong in victory over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — RHP Tyler Glasnow finally got his first win as a Ray Monday night.And he flirted with — or at least winked at — a no-hitter along the way.With six solid innings (and only two infield hits allowed) by Glasnow, a te...
Published: 09/17/18