SBD/Issue 195/Facilities & Venues

MLB Facility Notes: Poll Finds Opposition To Public Money For Rays

Poll Shows Majority Of Respondents Oppose
Committing Tax Money To Build Rays Ballpark
In St. Petersburg, Cristina Silva noted 62% of respondents to a St. Petersburg Times poll said that they would "oppose the city committing tax money to build a new stadium" for the Rays "even if it did not result in increased taxes for them personally."  Meanwhile, 34% said that they "would support public funding for a new stadium." St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker: "These are difficult financial times. People are going to have to be convinced that it is both good for the Rays and the citizens." Silva noted though the team has said that a "centrally located stadium could boost attendance, the voters' favored site was Tropicana Field," with 39% of the vote. The Toytown landfill site was the second most popular site with 17% of the vote. A Baseball Community, the civic group that is studying the possibilities of a new ballpark for the Rays, said that there is "no plan on the table and any talk about how a new stadium would be funded is pure speculation." The poll surveyed 600 registered city voters from June 11-16 and has a 4% margin of error (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/28).

NEW NEIGHBORS: In Seattle, Levi Pulkkinen reported a decision issued Friday by King County (WA) Superior Court Judge John Erlick "cleared the way for a proposed Deja Vu strip club" near Safeco Field. Erlick "found that the City of Seattle did not err in permitting the proposed" club over "objections of the Seattle Mariners." Erlick "rejected the Mariners assertion that the City Council meant to keep strip clubs at least 800 feet away from 'areas where children congregate' or sports arenas," language that is "absent from the city ordinance drafted after Seattle's wholesale ban on new strip clubs was rejected as unconstitutional." Mariners Exec VP/Governmental Affairs Bart Waldman said that opponents of the club will "decide in coming days whether to appeal Erlick's ruling" (, 6/26).

HEFTY TAB: In Milwaukee, Don Walker reported Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation engineers Friday met with Miller Park stadium district officials to “discuss short- and long-term solutions to what permitted the accumulation of as much as 6 feet of water on the roadway” outside the facility on June 19, resulting in a flood that inundated the ballpark's service level. Sources said that the final damage estimates will be in excess of $1M and “probably many millions more.” Meanwhile, the Brewers Friday announced that “between 6,000 and 7,000 of the Jason Kendall bobblehead doll giveaways” for yesterday’s game against the Giants were damaged in the flood and "have been reordered." The team said that fans who do not receive the item will "receive a voucher to get a replacement as soon as they become available" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/27).

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