Stadium Keeps Coming Cheap

June 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. 

23 Responses to “Stadium Keeps Coming Cheap”

  1. Chris FWC :) Says:

    You went to a futbol game? yikes Joe, this lockout has got you all confussed.

    If local government puts one dime in I say we get part of the team. I want it jus like GB has it.

    They can have their HD TVs and their fancy pink/red seats because I ain’t paying $90 for cheap seats, ever!

    NO MORE $ TO THE NFL! Enough is enough.

  2. Jello Says:

    The hell with the upgrades. I’ll take Santonio Holmes (in the picture). Typical crybaby liberal gobbledygook from the media thinking people will care that they have to pay to keep up their stadium. Thanfully for us ntaives, Tom McEwen never rolled that way. RIP

  3. Hire Greg Olson! Says:

    And how about serving liquor and import beers in the end zones? Our 3 seats are 3 grand for the season. I think that qualifies as a pretty sizable investment. How bout treating us like we’re human beings and quit forcing Duff and Duff Light on us like a bunch of tasteless troglodytes??

  4. Dave Says:

    Something cool outside the stadium would be nice for pregame parties, etc. These upgrades are the equivalent of four new tires with an alignment. Crazy how some writers think they know what people care about. Of course you could put Joe in that boat, but at least he’s more down to earth

  5. Joe Says:

    How bout treating us like we’re human beings and quit forcing Duff and Duff Light on us like a bunch of tasteless troglodytes??

    Quality rant!

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    Nice Joe. I agree with you. Sarasota just spent $35 Mill to upgrade Ed Smith Stadium & Practice Facility for the Orioles. Much smaller city with a much smaller tax base. It will help local businesses, especially the bars, and the darn thing was pretty run down, in need of a face lift. It’s time for a few upgrades at the CITS. I just wish the Glazers would go ahead and match the $18Mil or a major part to finish the improvements scheduled for later. Just do it all now, and give the tax payers something to feel a little better about. It is also supporting USF. Those screens suck and need it bad. They are ancient considering how far computers and electronics have come in the last 15 years. I can’t complain because I have season tickets and don’t have to pay a PSL like many of those poor bastards in other NFL cities. The CITS and the Bucs are a benefit of living here, and as many as possible should take advantage of it. It would cost at least 3 times the original investment to replace the CITS. I love that place and at Fanfest, I have to lay on the 50 yd line and bask in the Holiest of Holy places for me.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    BTW, Holder is losing it fast. Maybe the Lockout? Maybe poor circulation? Maybe women problems, who knows?

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Or maybe Holder’s going through menopause.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    The city spends more than that keeping up Bayshore and Channelside. Neither of these give the city more revenue or exposure than Raymond James. Just ask any supermarket (Publix) in town how important Bucs game days are to their sales.

  10. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Try having a politician sell joe’s argument to voters during a campaign: i.e. that 19 million of taxpayer money during these times is relatively insignificant when you consider that our stadium does not gave HD jumbotrons.

    Who gives a s-it if our jumbotrons are HD? Dallas had a high tech billion dollar stadium and the super bowl was a debacle. These luxuries are not a priority today. It is okay for the Glazers to pay for something right Joe?

  11. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    This having tourist pay argument fails when you are taking the tourist money away from another project and using it for better stadium tvs. Local governments operate on a fixed budget more and more lately in the red due to decreases in tax rolls from a recessed economy. 19 million can be much better allocated than for fancier tvs. I havent heard the nfl tell tampa no super bowl without fancier tvs – that is pure speculation.

  12. Joe Says:

    I havent heard the nfl tell tampa no super bowl without fancier tvs – that is pure speculation.

    May be pure speculation but you do the math Thomas. Two stadiums just a handful of years older that the CITS have been deemed by the NFL unfit for the Super Bowl rotation. Joe’s written about this several times.

    Poeple can nitpick all night long about where to spend tax dollars. The knee jerk reaction is the hand-wringing over schools but Joe will suggest schools have never been better. Students have access to information their parents never dreamed of.

    Simply put, this referendum was voter-approved by the good people of Hillsborough County. We, as sports fans, get a significant return on stadiums/arenas built. Either ya’ wanna live in Punta Gorda or ya’ wanna live in Tampa as a major league city.

    Joe gives a two-thumbs up on the upgrades. Little late in coming on the HD screens to be honest.

    Joe only prays a “Bud Zone” is built into the stadium as part of the upgrades.

  13. Joe Says:

    Who gives a s-it if our jumbotrons are HD? Dallas had a high tech billion dollar stadium and the super bowl was a debacle.

    So 2+2 = 7?

  14. Rick Longtime Fan Says:

    Sorry Joe gotta run against you on this one. Times are tough and sprucing up RJ Stadium for one week and one game isn’t a good way to spend our tax dollars.

    It’s an especially bad idea when most of the money that doesn’t go to the NFL will go to the Glazers and they’ll take it back to Palm Beach with them. Likewise the $$ that will go to the hotels, most are corporate owned and the money doesn’t stay in Tampa.

    There are roads, sewers, and other infrastructure items that need repair and replacement in Tampa. There are school that need repair and replacement and not to mention school books, etc.

    I’ve been a fan since 1965 or most of my life (rooted for the old Baltimore Colts until the Bucs came along) and given the tough economic times, Tampa and Hillsborough County don’t need to spend this money on a football stadium. They need infrastructure and social services not luxury boxes and jumbotrons.

  15. Brad Says:

    The upgrades for a chance at another Superbowl(s) is a no brainer. I have to think the amount of money generated from a Superbowl to help stimulate the local economy is any easy trade off. The fact the majority of it comes from tourist makes it a simple decision. I know The Big Dog agrees with your take on this as I do. I don’t understand why the local sports media don’t. Even without a Superbowl all stadiums need upgrades.. And if I understand it correctly the monies from these upgrades was already part of the initial plan and monies were supposed to be collected and put in reserves from day one for future upgrades.

  16. Jon L. Says:

    I think the upgrades need to be done to get another SuperBowl. It will definitely help the local economy with all the tourists coming to town.

  17. Leighroy Says:

    Anyone going against Joe on this one, is not allowed to be my financial adviser. Ever.

    Spending 19mil in tax money now, ensures we stay in the Superbowl rotation. If not 2015, then shortly thereafter, WE WILL get a superbowl, and whether you like it or not, that means a tax windfall higher than 19 mil when it arrives in tourist/visitor/vip generated revenue.

    Maybe fancy tv’s aren’t your thing, but they are to a lot of people and are a fairly integral part of a stadium experience. Saying no to these upgrades is like saying no to an oil change when youre 1,000 miles overdue.

    Stephen Holder owes it to his career quit being short sighted. Its easy to cry foul at this one. But an educated and (dare I say it) bold stance, which I applaud Joe for sharing, is to see the long run benefit, and maybe convince with a compelling newspaper article all the armchair ambulance chasers out there who claim to understand the legal system but somehow don’t understand democracy.

  18. D Says:

    Just a remind to the people who kiss the owners behinds– oh, yeah, that’s right this is capitalism at its purest– PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FOR BILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISES.

  19. espo Says:

    All I gathered from this is that Joe went to a soccer game.

  20. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Seriously joe, better jumbotrons could anything be less important for 2011 where nfl football is uncertain and even if they play a full season the Glazers have pilfered 1/8 or 12.5% of this communities home games for a foreign market.

    I would never approve gifts like free stadium upgrades for owners who pull stunts like the Glazers. I support hosting super bowls but until we here an authority say the stadium is in need of upgrades to host a super bowl, this is a non issue. Ten texas stadium jumbotrons wont erase that perception.

    The community is not apathetic about this team bc of the jumbotrons, it is a fledgling inexpensive collection of players led by a nobody coach that hasnt made the playoffs in years and is 13-19 over the last 2 seasons with a recessed economy.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    A fly in a port-o-let has more business sense than you, Thomas 2.2″. The more you write, the more you sound like an overweight adolescent without a clue. Way way way beyond stupid. Please don’t start a business ever, or teach school, or really anything other than counting telephone poles or maybe drivng an ice cream truck. I think a lawn service worker run by someone other than you might fit, hopefully with non-english speaking workers that won’t have to listen to your nonsense.

  22. Matt B Says:

    Do you people understand that, by law, the hotel tax dollars being spend on these improvements can not be used for schools or roads or all of those other worthy causes? Sheesh.

  23. Joe Says:

    Matt B:

    Do you people understand that, by law, the hotel tax dollars being spend on these improvements can not be used for schools or roads or all of those other worthy causes? Sheesh.

    Joe has pointed that out several times but people with agenda never let facts derail their screed.