In Tampa, Varian & Cox reported Rays reps “will meet with government leaders in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties later this month to discuss their stadium hopes.” Hillsborough County Commission Chair Ken Hagan confirmed that the Rays “will talk to his board at its next regular meeting on Jan. 24.” Rays officials less than a week later “will meet with Pinellas County commissioners for a discussion that was previously announced for Jan. 29.” St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster stressed that any discussion “about moving the Rays to Hillsborough would breach the team's agreement with the city.” The Rays are “contractually obligated to remain at taxpayer-financed Tropicana Field through 2027.” St. Petersburg officials have previously said that “any meddling by other regional governments could result in lawsuits” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/13).
SPRING CLEANING? In Florida, Dave Berman notes Brevard County has been the Spring Training home for an MLB team since '93, but that streak “could be broken" as early as '14. Officials in the Fort Myers area have been "courting the Nationals ... to move to the west coast of Florida.” The $7.1M in construction bonds on Space Coast Stadium "will be paid off in April,” and that milestone “frees up the Nationals to end their contract to hold spring training at Space Coast Stadium after 2013 without significant financial penalty.” Brevard County Commission Chair Andy Anderson “plans to travel to Washington on Jan. 25 to meet with Nationals executives, as a first step to try to persuade them to make a commitment to stay in Viera” (FLORIDA TODAY, 1/14).
L.A. STORY: In L.A., Rong-Gong Lin II noted the “financially strapped Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission has failed to pay $500,000 in rent to the state of California.” California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph, whose board owns the land where the Coliseum sits, on Friday said that the organization “has asked the state attorney general's office to assess its legal options.” The Coliseum is “in deep financial difficulty.” Officials last week said that they “may not have enough money to pay employees by the end of March.” The delinquent six-month rent payment “was due Dec. 31” (L.A. TIMES, 1/12).
GET MET, IT PAYS: Developer Triple Five estimates that a completion of the American Dream project for a shopping and entertainment complex near MetLife Stadium “would yield more than 9,000 on-site construction jobs and another 10,000 jobs via suppliers and other off-site partners” (Bergen RECORD, 1/13).