Last week, it was announced that Spartanburg, South Carolina would be getting a minor league baseball team. The ballpark is reportedly part of a $250 million dollar project to develop property in the city's downtown district. According to one city council member, the ballpark will “set off an explosion of development” and bring an “economic boom” to the city.
Cleveland. For the love of all that is holy and important. Stop agreeing to pay for all capital repairs for your sports teams. It is costing you SO MUCH MONEY. Your city already has so many financial issues to worry about. Will your local banks go bankrupt? Will your local health centers continue to lose… Continue reading Why on earth did Cleveland agree to fund repairs for the Cavaliers arena?
In 2018, Worcester, Massachusetts, agreed to finance a substantial portion of taxpayer money to build a brand-new ballpark. Although the city would be borrowing around $100.8 million for this project (making it the 4th most expensive minor league ballpark to be built), city leaders justified this expense by stating how the ballpark would fund itself, if not make the city money in the long term. At the press conference announcing the deal, the city manager told everyone outright that “in essence, the project pays for itself”. What if there are cost issues after the ballpark is built?
The A's are trying to get at least $500 million in taxpayer money for the new ballpark. As the Independent points out, that alone is slightly lower than the total amount that the city of Las Vegas brings in YEARLY from gaming taxes. The Oakland A’s believe that they are worth this money because they will bring in “400,000 new tourists to Las Vegas”. This is crazy. The A's would not bring in anywhere near this number of visitors. Based on airline issues alone with Las Vegas, making half this number would be an achievement. But maybe the A's could pull it off, considering they were dead last in attendance last year and are the lowest so far in 2023.
In the last few months, the Milwaukee Brewers have been begging city/state leaders to give them money for ballpark upgrades. The Governor of Wisconsin proposed giving the Brewers almost $300 million in public money in exchange for an additional 13 years being added to the lease. This proposal really means that taxpayers will pay closer to $450 million in renovations over the next 20 years. Several Brewers executives did a PR tour and tried to tell everyone that the Brewers “want nothing more than to continue playing baseball in Milwaukee for another generation”. He goes on to claim that the only people that can help the team are the city/state leaders … not the team itself, who are worth billions?
Several days ago, the City of Richmond came to an agreement with the developers of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a minor league baseball team. For years, the Squirrels have been threatening to relocate unless they were built a brand-new ballpark. When the owner wasn't threatening to leave, Major League Baseball (MLB) would step in and demand upgrades to the ballpark on the taxpayers dime. This year, MLB demanded that Richmond update the ballpark to the tune of $3.5 million worth of improvements.
Las Vegas has tried several times to lure a Major League Soccer (MLS) team here with taxpayer funded options. In 2015, MLS passed on putting a new team in Las Vegas due to questions and issues about the proposed new and publicly funded stadium.
In 2013, the city of Hillsboro, Oregon, built and paid $15 million in city bonds for the ballpark called Ron Tonkins Field so that their minor league team, the Hillsboro Hops, could have a home field. Now that 10 years have passed, both Major League Baseball and the owners of the Hillsboro Hops believe that the team needs a new home. Last year, MLB called on the city to substantially upgrade the ballpark or else the team may relocate.
So even though this is public land and the parties will be receiving significant taxpayer support, the city of St. Petersburg is denying all interview requests or interviews in general. A big reason for the secrecy is likely due to the hope that the deal can be done as quickly as possible. Out of nowhere several weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Rays owner stated that if a deal wasn't done by the end of 2023, then there would be no deal at all.
CSLI is owned by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. They are writing reports that they themselves benefit from. Nothing bias about that. But maybe they hit the pavement and did extensive research into the Brewers financial impact. Nah, that is too much work. Their “independent research” got their financial numbers from the Brewers themselves.