It's been nearly three days since the team at CityScape made their pitch to the Tampa Bay Rays to seriously consider a proposal for a 35,000 seat stadium on the Carillon property in North St. Petersburg.
Rays management was represented at the presentation by Vice President of Development Michael Kalt, who was extremely tight lipped about saying anything but the most perfunctory of comments afterwards. Mayor Bill Foster says he'll look to reach out directly to the team sometime "after the World Series," which won't be until around Halloween. But the Rays season could be over in a couple of days. Why wait? Maybe he won't.
The plan unveiled on Friday afternoon was incredibly detailed and is quite serious. And for all of these observers (and they're legion on this side of the Howard Frankland) who continue to say that Tampa is really where the next stadium should be, they really ought to think about where those millions of dollars that will be available in Pinellas County after the bonds have been paid off by 2016 is going to be made up in Hillsborough County? The high-end of the five different proposed scenarios unveiled on Friday was $577 million.
Although a lot of people believe that if a stadium was in Tampa it would attract more fans, that's not a definite thing. And can we talk about the paltry attendance that the NFL franchise is gathering over there these days off of Dale Mabry? No, probably not. Guess that's been written about too much.
CityScape officials said that they believe there can the stadium can be built without requiring direct taxpayer funding. That needs to be seriously examined, obviously.
No doubt the Rays would love some developer team to unveil a similar type of proposal that's been cooked up in Channelside, Westshore or some other part of Tampa. Maybe some group is working on that right now. But in this economic environment, is it really realistic to think there could be dueling proposals that the Rays could choose from?
In other news, we're 37 days away from the general election. Although the hype is (understandably) being ginned up about Wednesday night's first presidential debate, look for Mitt Romney to really start making noise about Obama's foreign policy. That attack was trotted out yesterday for a demonstration by Paul Ryan on Fox News.
The Obama for America team held a series of events over the weekend to celebrate the opening of their 100th office in the Sunshine State. That included inviting CNN cable analyst and Democratic surrogate Jamal Simmons over to CL's offices for a chat.
And campaigning to get the Puerto Rican vote supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in West Tampa on Friday was Luce Fortuno, the wife of Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuno.