Stadium Keeps Coming CheapJune 20th, 2011
Joe has been riddled with annoyance — still to this day — ever since reading the slanted people-are-outraged takes from the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune regarding local government footing the $18.7 million bill for improvements to the Community Investment Tax Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway, aka Raymond James Stadium.
Is Joe the only media type that realizes the Bucs’ stadium came pretty darn cheap ($168 million) and these latest improvements are peanuts when considering they’re necessary to keep the Super Bowl coming to Tampa?
Sorry to the Super Bowl naysayers, but Joe likes Super Bowls and thinks they’re great for the locals. Plus it’s pretty darn cool to live in a Super Bowl town. And who could argue with a mass influx of strippers invading the region to satisfy demand?
The Dolphins are begging local governments for $225 million to renovate whatever the hell they call their stadium these days and keep the Super Bowl coming.
In San Diego, NFL hatchetman Roger Goodell told San Diego recently that they’re off the Super Bowl list until they build a new stadium. Their $78 million upgrade in 1997 is old news.
The Bucs and the Bay area are trying to nail down another Super Bowl for 2015, and most of the $18.7 million improvement job is coming from tourist-specific taxes and going toward replacing the ancient TV sets in the end zones with fancy HD jobs, plus suite and media-area improvements that are keys to a Super Bowl bid.
It’s a freakin’ no-brainer. But Stephen Holder of the Times wrote, “This sort of thing isn’t going to go over well,” referring to taxes paying to upgrade the stadium as voters approved. Yeah, Joe’s still holding his breath for an angry mob to emerge, or even one dude holding a sign.
Sitting in the C.I.T.S. last week watching his country get embarassed by a sissy-diving Panamanian soccer team, Joe looked closely at the grainy replay screens and was motivated to do some digging. Nearly two-thirds of NFL teams have HD screens in their stadiums, but the Bucs are trying to lure fans with 1998 TVs. Heck, Joe doesn’t have a fancy TV, but it’s a lot newer than that.
Also, Joe found that the C.I.T.S. appears to be second least expensive NFL stadium built in the last 29 years. So it’s not like the taxpayers got screwed in the value of the thing.
Joe just had to get all this off his chest.
Having tourists pay a mere pittance to keep the C.I.T.S. Super Bowl-ready and not let an eyesore develop is something worth celebrating. Good luck Miami and San Diego. You’ll need it.