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Published March 15, 2011
ELECTION BEAT: In St. Petersburg, Richard Danielson reports Tampa mayoral candidates Bob Buckhorn and Rose Ferlita yesterday discussed "Tampa taxpayer involvement if the Rays end their play in St. Petersburg and look for a new home." Buckhorn noted that new ballparks recently "have included a combination of money from team owners, plus private equity, plus cities potentially doing infrastructure work around the new stadiums." Buckhorn: "There are all kinds of creative ways to do it." He said that he "would like to see a new stadium go downtown, because of its potential to fuel urban economic development." Buckhorn: "We need to find a way to keep them." Ferlita took a "harder line." Ferlita: "We cannot plan on spending any public dollars." Ferlita added that she "would love to see the Rays play in Tampa, but 'people are strapped now'" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/15). Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Delen Goldberg reported "none of the leading candidates for Las Vegas mayor think public money should be used to build a sports arena." All of the candidates "agreed that an arena should be a private enterprise" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/14).
MOVING FORWARD: In Milwaukee, Mark Kass reported the Packers are "moving ahead with plans for new scoreboards at Lambeau Field" despite the uncertainty of the '11 NFL season. Packers VP/Administration & General Counsel Jason Wied Saturday said that the team "would move ahead with a $14 million plan to upgrade the two scoreboards at Lambeau Field, along with its sound system." Wied: "We always try to look at investments in a long-term horizon. We are not going to sit on our hands and wait for this to play out. We are committed to making this a better place to come to" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/12).