SBD/April 17, 2012/Facilities

MLB Facility Notes: Politician To Request Permission To Talk To Rays About Ballpark

Hillsborough County Commission Chair Ken Hagan said that he "doesn't believe a contract between the city of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Rays prevents other governments from talking with the team about its future in the region." But in Tampa, Bill Varian notes Hagan will "ask permission from his fellow board members to have their attorney research the issue and report back." He said that during a meeting yesterday, he "informed St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster of his intentions to seek a legal opinion." Hagan would "say only that the discussion was 'cordial,' as per an agreement between the two to keep the substance of their conversation between them" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/17).

DEMOLITION DERBY: In Houston, Mike Morris noted Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. officials are "preparing to release a study next month comparing the cost of knocking down" the Reliant Astrodome with "the price of renovating it in several forms." Sports Corp. Exec Dir Willie Loston said that the "estimated cost of demolition is lower than that produced by a similar study two years ago," but he "declined to say the new number before members of Commissioners Court are informed." The '10 study "estimated the cost of demolition" at $78M, including $10M for asbestos removal and $10M to "put a ‘plaza’ on the site after demolition." Morris noted the "priciest stadium demolition" was $22M for Yankee Stadium, which was completed in '10 (, 4/16).

BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The home run sculpture in center field at Marlins Park was activated for the first time Sunday when Marlins 2B Omar Infante went deep, and ESPN’s Michael Smith said the sculpture is “awfully awesome.” Smith: "Looks like a Mardi Gras float. This is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, and if you stare at it long enough, you’ll start to like it.” ESPN’s Rob Parker said, “It’s awful. It looks like one of the hats the Golden Girls would wear to Easter” (“Numbers Never Lie,” ESPN2, 4/16). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said the sculpture was an “awful wonderful thing.” Le Batard: “It’s so very Miami” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 4/16).
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