Bill Foster Dampens Announcement On Funding For Rays Stadium Renovations
Tropicana Field Renovation Funds To Be Released
Tropicana Field will be receiving an upgrade for the upcoming season including a 360-degree walkway that will enable fans to walk around the stadium without having to step out to the concourse and a social meeting area in what is now the batters eye area. The Rays haven’t made any official announcement but plan on doing so on December 3rd.
The renovations should be nice and something that all fans can be excited about but leave it to politicians to try to create sound byte moments and for an outgoing mayor to once again use the occasion to pour cold water on the Rays.
Soon to be Ex-Mayor Bill Foster can not find it in his personality to extol the positives of the planned renovations rather he chose to end with this statement:
“We are contractually obligated to do this as the Rays are contractually obliged to play 81 baseball games a year for the next 14 years,”
With absolutely no way of eloquently handling simple public relations its no wonder that Bill Foster lost his election despite leaving the city of St.Petersburg in good shape which he deserves much of the credit for.
The money to pay for the improvements was authorized under the Capital Fund ( funded by the Rays via a portion of ticket sales and dome naming rights) that was outlined in the original lease agreement under Section 5.01. Chris O’Donnell of TBO.com reports that the Capital Fund has a balance of $2.3M.
Section 5.01 – Capital Repair, Renewal and Replacement Sinking Fund Account
The Capital Account (established with funds deposited based on ticket sales) is designated as the “Capital Repair, Renewal and Replacement Account.” “All withdrawals shall require the co-signature of the Chief Financial Officer of the CITY.” –
In lieu of rent, the Club pays to the City and into a Capital Account, a portion of ticket sales, which is calculated based on the following:
1) “Beginning with the AMT [(active management term)] and thereafter during the Term, $.50 for each Ticket Stub Collected for any baseball or non-baseball event . . . ;
2) In each and every Year of the Term that the number of Ticket Stubs Collected for regular season MLB Home Games exceed 3,300,000, in addition to the $.50 above, $.25 for each such Ticket Stub Collected in excess of the 3,300,000.” –pg. 17
The Club shall pay according to the following terms:
1) “The first $250,000 shall be paid into the Capital Account.
2) The next $100,000 shall be paid to the CITY and represent the rent to be paid from the Ticket Stub Funds. . . .
3) Any amount over $350,000 shall be paid to the CITY to reimburse the expenses incurred and the services provided by the CITY under this Agreement.” –pg. 18
Section 4.03 – DOME Naming Rights
a) “The first $800,000 shall be retained by the CLUB.
b) The next $250,000 shall be paid by the CLUB into the Capital Account.
c) The next $500,000 shall be paid 50% to the CLUB and 50% to the CITY.
d) Any amount over $1,550,000 shall be paid 85% to the CLUB and 15% to the CITY.” –pg. 19