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Old 06-26-2011, 09:21 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 27,708,063 times
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I agree on the infrastructure - that segment of I275 has some of the area's worst traffic already. His proposal says that there would be work on improving that potential issue, but I doubt it.

As for public support of sports franchises - I'm not an expert on the topic, but I'd be interested to see what an area sports economist would say about not having sports teams in the Tampa Bay area and the affect on our economy (jobs, tourism, etc).
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:25 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 27,708,063 times
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I do remember a USF econ prof being interviewed about it locally....here he testified in Miami concerning a lawsuit about public funding their stadium in 2008........

From the Tampa Bay Business Journal:

USF sports economist Porter testifies in Miami stadium challenge
Tampa Bay Business Journal - by Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal

Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 8:29am EDT

A new Florida Marlins stadium has a slim chance of stimulating economic activity in Little Havana, according to a sports economist who testified Tuesday in the trial of auto dealer Norman Braman's lawsuit challenging public funding for the stadium and other projects.

Phil Porter, a professor of economics at the University of South Florida, said major sporting events and stadiums have limited economic impact on surrounding communities.

Porter is known for questioning the level of economic impact of major sports events such as the Olympics and Super Bowl.

"This isn't a public facility," he said. "People have to pay to go there ... It's a very private entertainment, like a movie theater is."

He said the benefit of a new professional baseball stadium in South Florida would have diminished impact because the area has so many other attractions that already draw visitors and economic activity, such as beaches, boating, diving and the Everglades.

In addition to the automobile business, longtime Miami resident Braman is an art collector, philanthropist and once owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. His legal team hired Porter to analyze whether the proposed financing for a Marlins stadium would yield the benefit anticipated by the city and county.

Porter's testimony took place late on the second day of the trial, despite midday discussion about moving for dismissal or summary judgment.

The economist called into question surveys the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County have used to justify the $525 million stadium project that reference improved quality of life anticipated by the project.

One of the major issues in the case is whether the stadium -- part of a complex $3 billion public funding plan known as the megaplan -- serves a paramount public purpose.

Porter testified over strenuous objection by Marlins attorney Sandy Bohrer. At one point, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jeri Beth Cohen reined in Bohrer's attempt to say Porter wasn't qualified to comment on quality-of-life issues.

Pointing, she said: "Mr. Bohrer, I heard what he said. Have a seat."

Besides Porter's testimony, the second day of trial was marked by Braman attorney Roberto Martinez's statement that he would seek a ruling that requires the Marlins' stadium plan be put to a referendum.

Martinez said he believes a case currently under reconsideration by the Florida Supreme Court, Strand vs. Escambia County, will require a referendum in the Braman case. In the Strand case, the Supreme Court ruled last year that a referendum is required for dedicating tax-increment financing dollars to bonding for a large public works projects. That case rocked the public sector in Florida, but the court has agreed to reconsider its ruling. However, Martinez said it applies to courts in Miami-Dade County because a local court has already ruled it should be considered in another case.

Earlier in the day, a county official testified that public tax dollars lose their "character" when they are collected by one public entity, mixed into general revenue and shifted to another.

Rachel Baum, the county's finance director, was questioned by Martinez and Cohen about the sources of $382 million in county funding for the $525 million stadium.

Some of that money is coming from a complex public funding arrangement that Braman alleges is illegal and should prompt a public vote. Braman said in testimony Monday that he saw Marlins financial statements in 2004 that indicated large debt for the team.

The county plans to use revenue from community redevelopment districts in the city -- whose main source of funding is tax-increment financing (TIF) derived from property taxes -- to pay off bonds at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. After that, tourism and convention funds previously used for the arts center will be redirected to the stadium project. TIF refers to payment for public improvements by property tax revenue generated by growing property values in a designated area, or TIF district.

But Baum said once the redevelopment districts receive TIF revenue as disbursed by the county, it loses its property tax character.

"It's no longer ad valorem taxes," she said. "It lost that character once it went in the trust fund."

"If you followed your logic, you would never have ad valorem money," Cohen replied. "It all goes into a fund somewhere. You would never have to have a referendum that way."

At one point, striving to understand the financing details, Cohen remarked: "Isn't that a shell game?"

Braman has been alleging in his lawsuit against the county, city of Miami and the Florida Marlins that the $3 billion megaplan to fund the stadium and other massive projects represents a "shell game" designed to use public tax dollars for massive public works projects without the public vote that might normally be required.

Baum's testimony also touched on cost overruns at the county-owned Arsht Center. She summarized why the county took out millions of dollars in loans to pay for its operations: "When it opened, it needed a lot more operating support than ever contemplated. All of a sudden they open up and they need $7 million to $8 million a year. So, the issue was: Do we close it because we can't pay the light bill, or do we find additional money?"

The trial began Monday, after Cohen sent the parties back to mediation for the weekend, which was unsuccessful. Testimony began Monday afternoon with a videotaped deposition of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, where he said he never saw financial statements for the Marlins before approving public funding for the stadium, and that he had no guarantees the Marlins could pay for cost overruns, as required.

Braman also testified, saying he had seen the Marlins' financial statements in 2004, when he was approached as a possible investor. Cohen ruled that Braman could not testify or enter court documents about the financials he had seen at that time, but she allowed him to talk about the investment proposal.

"My answer was I could not make an investment in a company that had $163 million in debt," Braman said.

USF sports economist Porter testifies in Miami stadium challenge | Tampa Bay Business Journal
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:57 PM
817 posts, read 2,002,559 times
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Originally Posted by ferret111 View Post
I don't believe that the taxpayers should be forced to foot the bill for a new stadium. That being said, this proposed location would take public land--a popular park--and hand it over to a private enterprise. Could that park even hold a stadium? It doesn't look like there's enough room between the river and Boulevard. Finally, there's no way that the current infrastructure could handle the traffic and I don't know if there's enough right-of-way to enhance it.
I'm not huge on taxes, and I think the city got hosed on the Ray Jay deal with the Bucs....BUT...if a contract is structured the right way, I'm ok with at least partially footing the bill for a sports stadium. Having MLB in the bay area is a HUGE community asset, and if we don't throw some money at a stadium, another city will.

I hate that about pro sports, but it's a fact of life.

That said, I would NOT favor a deal like the Bucs got. That was freaking horrendous. We basically gave them a stadium. They get almost all revenues from it...that's just not right. However, I'd be with building a baseball stadium with a large taxpayer infusion if the terms of the contract included kickers for helping to pay the bond off if the team makes a certain amount of money every year, or something like that.

As for location, that one on the river is not good, but there are others that would work. There is land near the location of the Ice Palace that would work, as well as in the northeast area of downtown...and also the area that is between downtown and Ybor. There are some rundown old projects there that could be torn down and built on.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:15 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 27,708,063 times
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These stadiums bring national conventions, concerts, all kinds of sporting events (other than the local teams). People move to the area because of sports (at least that was one major consideration for me). I think it is important for the community to help the teams survive.

They need to find a spot that takes advantage of our skyline, that is near Channelside (for pregame/post game entertainment), and that has easy access from all points north, south, east, west. There are spots on US 41 near downtown Tampa that also have great views of the city and can be accessed from the expressways, I275, etc.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:48 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
425 posts, read 877,553 times
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or something near the water so you can have a similar set up as PNC Park in Pitt and AT&T Park in San Fran.

Tons of respect for the Rays for hanging with the Yanks & Sox.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:32 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 27,708,063 times
Reputation: 14611
9 games over .500 with a fourth of the Yankee/Red Sox payroll is definitely above expectations.
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