Joe Henderson: Rays ready to unveil stadium design, but at what cost?
The Tampa Bay Rays know how to put on a show, and I’m positive there will be no shortage of “oohs” and “aahs” Tuesday when they roll out the design and, importantly, a cost projection for what they hope is a new stadium in Ybor City.
Owner Stuart Sternberg has dropped enticing hints about the stadium being a testament to outside-the-box thinking, and I’m sure it will be. The people running the Rays are smart, forward-thinking, and despite what the usual negative voices say, I think Sternberg really does want to keep the Rays here.
I believe their chronic bottom-barrel attendance is a result of Tropicana Field being at the far edge of the market. Goes a few miles west of the Trop and you’re trying to sell baseball tickets to grouper.
But, of course, it all comes down to dollars and sense – dollars, as in how much this stadium will cost, and sense, as in an honest assessment of how to pay for it.
I will assume Sternberg knows any finance plan where the city and county pick up $500 million or more is DOA. I will wager county officials know that even a