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City Council Members Here's what voters are saying

I have been creating polls on Nextdoor discussing the Rays Hines deal.

What I find compelling is that the majority of all the comments oppose the deal and equally compelling is that those opposed have no (0) concrete facts why they should otherwise support the deal.

Let's start with those in favor of the deal and my response based on their comments:

Comment in Favor: "Build a new stadium and develop the property around it! It's going to be good for the city."

My Response: Looking at market trends from the last 5 years, the property around it is going to be developed with or without a stadium. But it's more desirable to developers without a stadium nearby. The developers of apartments that are interested don't want to build next to a stadium. In general, people don't want to rent apartments near a stadium. Similarly, commercial office developers don't want to build next to a stadium. The stadium parking is going to be in multi-story garages. Imagine 30,000 people going to a game with cars waiting to drive in an out - at the same time people are trying to go home from work.

Comment in Favor: "This is great for the city. Increased equity, increased employment, increased tourism, increased revenue for small business owners. What would really be awesome if they tokenized the development and fractionalized it so that we could all buy in as investors."

My Response: I suggest you read our thorough Rays Hines Deal Analysis and the third-party research reports on other stadiums deals. Research from around the U.S. over 30 years, proves stadiums ARE NOT economic catalysts. Next, I am not sure what you mean by increased equity. The deal takes $1.6 billion of St. Pete taxpayer resources and transfers them to a team owner, that happens to be a very wealthy guy (actually at least 2 guys or gals). In return, team owners pay no rent and no taxes. Equity? The team has never drawn more than about 15,000 attendees and they play in the hot summer. Why would a new stadium be different? Look at Miami's attendance challenges. Increase revenues for small businesses? People go to games, spend their money in the stadium and go home. Tokenization? Actually, I like your idea of you being able to buy into the deal. Then those in favor could pay for the whole stadium and not ask for a public handout.

No one in favor of the stadium has one concrete fact to support the conclusion that the Rays/Hines proposed deal with St. Petersburg is good for the city and its residents.

Now some comments from those who oppose the deal:

"Another stadium in ridiculous. With Team Owner money they are free to do so as they please. Taxpayers should not be Bamboozled into funding someone else's business. Period!"

"Perhaps what is needed is a class action suit against the city for abandoning their fiduciary responsibility to represent the voters of St. Pete by spending billions of tax dollars without a vote."

"Wasting an obscene amount of public money on this swindle only appeals to diehard fans and people who confuse drawing with real life."

St. Petersburg City Council Members - I hope you are listening.



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