The Exclamation Point

Remember how the DC Council decided to give Major League Baseball a $611,000,000.00 present with hardly any strings attached? Remember how morons like former Mayor Anthony Williams and Councilman Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) lied to their constituents and said that this money was necessary to keep the Nationals in town? And remember how other jurisdictions that didn't pay contribute a god damned cent get to reap the benefits?

Well, all of that was for the honor of having a historically shitty team play in our fair city. Meanwhile, another historically shitty team is showing everyone exactly how badly we got hosed.

According to a report in Tuesday's St. Petersburg Times, the [Tampa Bay] Rays will not seek state aid for their proposed $450-million stadium on the team's current Spring Training site, Al Lang Field, on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront.

Whoa. Hold on just one second. You mean a team can build a sweet stadium without a massive government hand-out or tax burden? Because if we had to do this all over again, wouldn't that be the way to go?

And I know the two scenarios are apples and oranges. They're building on land they already own and the ownership situation there isn't nearly as fucked up what the Expos/Nationals had to deal with when they were owned by Major League Baseball. Using private capital and the owners deep pockets to come up with $450 million... WHY DIDN'T WE THINK OF THAT. I assure you, if we were talking about $161,000,000.00 of public money, I would not be harping on this all the freaking time.

Meanwhile, the privately funded At&T Park continues to thrive and the plans for Cisco Field will require no public funds. So, yeah, it can be done.

I'd be willing to support indicting Major League Baseball officials on extortion, but who can blame them? They were negotiating with a group of local politicians that so clearly wanted to be extorted.

(h/t to the excellent site Baseball Musings)


  1. I lived in Seattle just before they built SafeCo field. The voters voted the stadium down "twice". The politicians still gave in and kicked in money for the stadium. The Mariners offered up $45 million to help build the stadium. Know how they came up with it? They sold the naming rights to SafeCo.

    Stadiums are a rip off. If you believe they improve the surrounding community just drive past JFK.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions; while honorable they were mistaken.

  2. Seattle is a great comparison to the DC situation since building SafeCo Field was such a clusterfuck. Taxpayers got hosed and cost overruns were rampant.

    And it cost $93.4 million less than Nationals Stadium.

  3. Really?!?! 94 Million less?

    I've been to SafeCo a couple of times. It's nice, but small.

    Check this out, we were able to use Paul Allen's box. Super nice (a friend of ours worked for Vulcan Ventures).

    A six pack cost us $36.00!!!!