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Expert Analysis

Comments from major developers working in St. Petersburg, major commercial brokers, and community leaders:

"The details of the city’s financing plan are murky at best. But whatever sources they use in the end, which adds up to around $1.66 billion, the city taxpayer is getting soaked. They are paying a lion's share of the deal while the Rays have a cakewalk."

"The city has given up almost all revenue to the Rays so that the Rays can pay their debt service costs but the city must reach deep into its pocket. The city has given up operating revenue from ticket sales, parking and naming rights to the Rays in addition to real estate giveaways and paying for all the infrastructure ($130 million). Incredible deal for the Rays."

"The real estate offsets for community benefits, greenspace, affordable housing, Booker Creek and demolition are absurd. The city is paying for all of this, not the developer, which is like ignoring who is making the money and turns community benefits on its head."

The stadium deal is a money pit and quite frankly, I'm a lot less worried about the name that we assigned to the pit that we throw public funds down.

The demographics are strong enough to successfully develop the property without a stadium.

Interest in the property would not be less without a stadium.  There is plenty of interest.

There were developers who submitted proposals without a stadium, and they all said this is a better alternative for the property.

What is the Rays' current financial situation – to be able to assess their need for city and county support?

I think the city knows it but has tied their reputation to the Rays - no matter the facts.

Stadiums are boondoggles.

It’s the vitality of the area that is the anchor.

It is the walkable communities nearby that make the property a success.

One of the worst sports deals ever done.

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