If the rumors are true, city leaders from and around Milwaukee are preparing to give the Milwaukee Brewers roughly $520 million dollars in taxpayer money to upgrade America Family Field. Over the last few years, we have seen the Brewers asking for all sorts of different amounts of public money. Last year, they were thinking of asking for just $100 million of public money. More recently, they have been asking for $300-$430 million.
The Hillsboro Hops are a minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Just outside of Portland. Much like they are doing in most cities with a minor league team, Major League Baseball has told Hillsboro city leaders that their minor league teams will leave town if substantial upgrades or a new ballpark are not completed. I could post 1000 links of stories all over the country where a city is being told to upgrade or else by MLB. Here is one anyway. Then last week, stories began coming out of MLB requiring Hillsboro to upgrade the ballpark or else.
The city of Cleveland is going to pay for upgrades to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the non-profit corporation who decides whether to approve these projects, Gateway Economic Development Corporation, also has no idea how, where or even if they can pay for it. Which does seem to be a slight problem?
The Las Vegas Review-Journal went after these teachers for their political action committee. According to the newspaper, the teachers are simply “blinded by its misguided opposition”. I was interested to see what the newspaper would say as to why the teachers were wrong. Instead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal uses the same arguments that have been disproven numerous times.
After the city of Wichita and the ownership group came to an agreement behind closed doors, numerous months passed. During this time, the city began to tear down the old ballpark and began to build the new one. Keep in mind that at this moment, residents still had no idea what the city had agreed to in this deal.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a history with Clearwater, Florida. Since 1947, the Phillies spring training facility and ballpark has been found here. But over the last decade or so, the Phillies have struggled to get money out of local city leaders. In early 2019, the Phillies asked for $40 million from tourist taxes for ballpark renovations and were flatly rejected. But now they are trying again. Maybe. We think.
The ballpark was to be built for the Biloxi Shuckers, the Class AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2015, the city spent $36 million to build a new ballpark. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant claimed the new ballpark “would be an economic development driver for the area”. A local foundation estimated that this new ballpark would result in “an additional $10 million annually in visitor spending”. As AL.com notes, the ballpark came with a “promise of home runs inside and outside the stadium”.
Presently, the Kansas City Royals lease with the county allows them to make money through a ⅜-cent sales tax. If the team wants to renew or change this number, it must be done through a public vote and with the blessing of the Jackson County Legislature. It has been reported that the Legislature is still waiting for the Royals to answer the most basic questions. For example, what is the language used in the ballot? How much information is on the ballet? Unfortunately, the Royals have not yet provided any direct answers. This means that right now the Royals couldn't even get to a public vote, much less win one.
The facts, however, show otherwise. Since 2002, the Anaheim Angels have spent $54 million on capital repairs/improvements with $12 million coming from the city. Additionally, a number of the so-called improvement projects were just upgrades that the team wanted, such as replacing their scoreboard to a newer model. Building permits show that the Angels were spending money from their pockets so that they could buy the cool, new gadget and not the contractually obligated maintenance.
When the Tampa Bay Rays do construct a new ballpark, it will be with a significant amount of taxpayer money. For years, it has been reported that the Rays are “willing to finance half of the cost of a new (ballpark)”. How nice of them. But the Rays couldn't build it on their own if they wanted to because their owner isn't wealthy enough to fund such a project. This means the Rays will need as much taxpayer funds as possible.