JUST ANOTHER DAY IN TAMPA BAY: QUESTIONS FOR BUCS, RAYS
Hillsborough County Administrator Dan Kleman released a new
$98M renovation plan for Tampa Stadium that calls for "local
public dollars to pick up less than a third of the cost." Under
Kleman's plan, $30M would be raised through the sale of Permanent
Seat Licenses (Kevin Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/19). The Glazer
family, new owners of the Bucs, refused to say if Kleman's
proposal was "adequate" for the team to stay. In this morning's
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, Larry Dougherty writes that "the Glazers'
position ultimately remains unchanged from the January day when
they struck a deal to purchase the team -- the day Joel Glazer
said 'this city needs a new stadium to make it work' -- the stage
may be set for a stalemate" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/20).
MORE DEADLINES: The City of St. Petersburg has asked
Pinellas County Commissioners to raise the county's tourist tax
to pay for their $20M obligation for improvements to make the
Thunderdome baseball-ready. However, the commissioners will not
be able to vote on the issue until May 9. MLB has set a April 30
deadline for the Devil Rays to submit a stadium lease; and local
officials have asked Rays Owner Vince Naimoli to request more
time. Naimoli will reportedly consider the request, "but might
not agree" to honor it, according to team officials. Rays
General Council John Higgins: "He still wants to see what path
we're travelling down" (Neusner & Moncada, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/20).