Enough With The Stadium Nonsense

June 9th, 2011

"Did you hear the one about the newspaper making us out to be greedy bastards?"

Joe’s feeling the need here to set the record straight on a bizarre analysis of the recently announced Raymond James Stadium improvements posted by Stephen Holder of the St. Pete Times

Holder implies that children are being denied educational opportunities and important public services won’t get the best possible attention because Team Glazer is getting revamped luxury suites and a fancy scoreboard from taxpayers. Ohh, the children. Ohhh, the BS.

The problem for many, however, is two-fold: First, taxpayers will fund the project, with tourism taxes that could otherwise support schools or essential services being tapped. Second, approximately half of the expenditures will be made in the luxury suite sections, a place Joe Six Pack never ventures.

In this day and age of heightened scrutiny over the spending of public funds, this sort of thing isn’t going to go over well.
But what this does, more than anything, is underscore what a sweetheart deal Bucs ownership got when RJS was built. With owner Malcolm Glazer entertaining moving the team after purchasing it in 1995, nervous voters in 1996 approved a referendum to build the stadium Glazer said was necessary for the team to remain in Tampa.

First, tourist taxes really can’t used for public schools or sewers (No, they’re not the same thing). Despite what Holder writes, there are laws that prevent such things. The money is earmarked for tourist-related stuff, including the stadium improvements.

Second, Holder seems to forget/not realize that only about 10 percent of the voter-approved sales tax– over its 30-year life — will go to pay off the stadium. The remaning billions was for all kinds of community services.

Holder says about the new improvements, “it’s not going to over well?” Joe really had to laugh at that.

Joe suspects nobody is going to mind that a tourist tax, as in non-local taxpayers, funds improvements to the Bucs home that should bring the area the 2015 Super Bowl, which would be its third in 14 years.

Joe’s a media guy, but that doesn’t mean he gets what they’re all thinking sometimes.

28 Responses to “Enough With The Stadium Nonsense”

  1. BucFan941 Says:

    the far right like u joe should not care this is what they do

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yeah, why maintain an iconic symbol of Tampa like the Stadium. Better to build it, the let it fall into disrepair. Let it become a giant Eye sore, that would look at home in Jersey, or NY, rather than a cool place to watch football. Why not just let it fall apart, and waste our investment.

    Screw maintaining the roads while we’re at .

    Holder has totally lost his game lately. What ? He want the stadium to look like the ‘hood around the stadium? Come on , people just can’t be stupid enough to complain about normal maintaince/ upgrades on taxpayer property.
    That’s just to stupid to even begin to understand!

  3. Keith Says:

    Don’t believe anything you read.

  4. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Except Joe, right keith?

  5. nick Says:

    Meanwhile, Jeff Vinik is making $35 mill. worth of renovations coming out of his own pocket

  6. Coburn Says:

    Not to mention the stadium itself hosts many people who come into the town and spend their money at restaurants, hotels, sight seeing, etc. which pumps money back into the city.

  7. OAR Says:

    Damn that global warming, damn those Glazers, damn those taxpayers, and damn those kids!
    Seriously Glazers, why not allow the kids in for free? of course, with the accompaniment of parents or adults. Hey, that might increase ticket sales, too?
    BTW Damn that LOCKOUT!

  8. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    THOMAS — Feel free to re-post, but the Community Investment Tax and the tourist tax are tow different things. So Joe deleted you here.

  9. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    THOMAS – THE INFORMATION YOU INITIALLY POSTED WAS INACCURATE and used to justify why you said Joe was wrong! That’s why it was deleted. You might want to re-read this actual post. The tourist tax and the Community development are TWO separate entities. As for the game being shipped to England and stripping the county of tax revenue, Joe wrote about that just the other day, and previously, so please get your head out of your ass. —Joe

    Why did you delete me? That is strange. Hit a soar spot? Just let me know if I did.

    If I am incorrect regarding the specific tax being earmarked for stadium improvements – that is one thing – that could easily be addressed by a response.

    The CIT the tax voted on to fund the stadium (and has allowances for stadium improvements in it) was what I cited and linked to. The fact that tourism tax money may also be tapped into doesnt diminish my argument it enhances it.

    The Glazers are pressuring the community to spruce up their digs with are money, while simultaneously taking a game/event from this community and shipping it overseas (and lowering the probability of the team winning) and taking income from the pockets of hundreds if not thousands of citizens from (game day workers, hotels, restaurants, retailers, gas stations, grocers, bars etc). That pisses me off and it should you.

    Joe – I believe some journalist has the journalistic responsibility to ignore the Glazer bullying and investigate and report on this. I dont expect it to be you for obvious reasons but someone should.

    Are you going to delete this?

  10. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    “our money” sorry

  11. Jimmy Says:

    LOL Thomas got slapped down!

  12. bucswin Says:

    So, if somebody posts something that is inaccurate, it will be deleted? How about just responding and correcting the poster? Pathetic.

  13. OAR Says:

    I think? It is was because he used his inaccuracies to slam Joe!

  14. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @bucswin — When something is factually inaccurate AND a mile long with links and attacks the credibility of Joe, yes it’s going to get deleted.

    Simply, Joe can’t guarantee that most would have the patience to get to the rebuttal.

    Deleting surely is very rare.

  15. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Thanks bucswin, my point exactly. The core point was not which tax $ was being used – I admit I could be wrong on that point. I will look into it later and comment.

    But to delete my larger more important comment re Glazers was unnecessary and strange. You have NEVER written about the inherent Glazer unfairness of taking a game away from the community while pressuring the same community to pay for stadium upgrades.

  16. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    That was FAR from a slam. I read the CIT language bc someone wrote that these upgrades were provided for when the stadium referendum passed. So I assumed it was CIT money.
    Joe: are you at liberty of saying whether you have received Glazer/buc pressure to avoid certain subjects? I have that they are not hesitant to exert pressure.

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    Way to go Beavis.

  18. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Thomas 2.2 — You’re a piece of work. You really think there’s pressure on Joe to avoid subjects? So silly. Do you see any greater variety of Bucs subjects — positive and negative — anywhere else? Did you read Joe’s post on the irony of the Bucs announcing the lucrative Walgreens sponsorship the day employees returned from their unpaid time off?

    Joe doesn’t worry about what he writes — and Joe’s not on the take. Though Joe’s happy to have a conversation if six figures is on the table. 😉

  19. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Good to know. Just found it very strange that you deleted my entire comment instead of just correcting it or redacting the cite etc.

    From what I can tell I was wrong with citing the CIT, I should have said TDT ( tourist develop. Tax) but my point generally doesng change.

    The county is borrowing the money for upgrades, then paying it back with the fourth (of five) cent TDT. They are borrowing and paying interest bc they dont have the money available currently. The use of these funds will take away from other projects / uses. That cent is designated for bond repayment or stadium capital improvements – not necessarily tourist only expenditures.

  20. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I think that you guys try to maintain your objectivity. I have the sense, right or wrong, that the content seems to be increasingly defensive / pro-Glazer. I was just asking about whether there was any reason.

    I hope you are offered six plus figures for this blog that you guys work hard on. I wouldnt expect you to say no to that type of money, even glazer-stained money. However, IMO PR lost its edge by becoming too subjective.

  21. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I meant PR

  22. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Thomas 2.2 — The tourist tax/bed tax, whatever you want to call it, is essentially earmarked to drive the tourist industry, which includes stadium upkeep for that big tourist magnet on Dale Mabry they use for Super Bowls. http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/econdev/tourist/

    Regarding Team Glazer taking a home game/local tax revnue to England, it’s an interesting argument with a lot of angles. But when you consider the marketing value of having the Tampa Bay name out there across Europe, and the long term value of that versus the tax revenue from one Bucs home game, it could be viewed as a wash.

    These Bay area tourism bureaus pay big money for exposure in a variety of ways all over the world. They see a value in that, and the England game is probably something they are very happy about. …Off the top of Joe’s head, one Bucs game doesn’t generate an ungodly amount of local tax revenue, especially if you consider the loss of the game should drive up attendance at the remaning seven on the schedule.

    Maybe the business section of one of the newspapers will run all the numbers at some point. Wouldn’t count on it, though. It’s not that interesting.

  23. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Holder needs to stop and think things through sometimes.

    Children are being denied educational opportunities by our new governor, not the Glazers…who…btw…actually finance schools as part of their charities.

    Floridians…what bothers me is that the Lottery was approved by the voters because a portion was going into education. And our new governor is now preventing that. To me, that’s breach of contract, afterall, we voted it through for a reason.

    Bah…I hate politicians.

  24. Pete Dutcher Says:


    Regarding Team Glazer taking a home game/local tax revnue to England, it’s an interesting argument with a lot of angles. But when you consider the marketing value of having the Tampa Bay name out there across Europe, and the long term value of that versus the tax revenue from one Bucs home game, it could be viewed as a wash.

    I agree.

    I think a lot of people are looking at the short term affects of a game in Europe instead of the longterm potential…not to mention, the more exposure we get, the more chances for Superbowls Tampa will get.

  25. Pete Dutcher Says:

    btw…I’ve been doing some reading up on the Glazers lately.

    I’ve seen it said by some that since Malcom got sick, his sons have taken over and the Glazers have become tightwads.

    This isn’t actually accurate. Historically, Malcom is a very severe cost-cutter. One of his former assistants (in business) once made a public statement that the first thing Malcom did when he bought a company was to fire 15 high ranking employees to clean the business up and cut costs.

    He was no Culverhourse, of course, but everyone who thinks he wouldn’t do the same things his sons are doing is making a false assumption.

    Besides…his mind is still sharp…it’s very likely he is advising his sons to prepare them for fully taking over.

    Also been reading up on Culverhouse…I bet half of Bucs fans don’t know how much of a dousch he really was. His kids even hated him. A coach once said he had a woman in every city the Bucs played a game in…and he was married. I could list a couple dozen faults he had just concerning the Bucs.

    Kind of off topic, but it’s amazing how much info is out there when we find out where to dig.

  26. Scott Says:

    No matter how you slice it this is government money going to subsidize billionaires. In the past these kind of stadiums deals made a little bit of sense because the public got the benefit of non football revenue from the stadium. But the Glazers get pretty much everything.

    This is what large private enterprise has become, the public owns all the liabilities and the private company owns all the revenue. Someone above pulled the ‘right wing’ line out, it’s not, it’s every major political group in this country.

    I realize the deal was done long ago, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that we made one of the worst deals imaginable all so we could have the privilege of making a private family wealthy.

  27. OAR Says:

    Thomass is a piece alright, but it ain’t work!

  28. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I agree with Scott, as much as I love Football, we should have called the Glazers bluff.
    We should never have used Taxpayers Money to support them. Hate to say this, but Thomas is correct in that the Glazers or the NFL are taking away a game from Tampa fans, after Hillsborough County Florida Taxpayers built them a Stadium.
    That should be seen as a slap in the face to every Tampa Football Fan.
    Big Money can rationalize anything it does, and as long as we keep footing the bill, it will have a million “good reasons” to spend our money to enrich itself, at our expense.