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Tampa Voters Don't Want Tax Dollars Spent On Rays Stadium, Poll Says

Forty-five percent of Tampa voters say they are opposed to spending public funds for a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.

As the future of the Tampa Bay Rays in Saint Petersburg is discussed during a Friday meeting between Mayor Bill Foster and Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, a new poll shows Tampa voters do not want to spend tax dollars to pay for a new stadium for the team were it to move across the Bay.

Local polling operation St. Pete Polls conducted a survey (paid for by this blog) of Tampa voters to gauge their willingness to devote public money toward a new stadium. Voters' opinion of Mayor Bob Buckhorn and his handling of the Tampa Bay Rays situation was also included in the survey.

Buckhorn comes in a with a nice approval rating of 58% favorable/18% unfavorable. These are generally good numbers, although they are not the kind of numbers Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is enjoying, according to the latest polling from that city. Nor are Buckhorn's numbers the sky-high numbers held by his predecessor, Pam Iorio. Actually, Buckhorn's favorability rating comes in just slightly higher than St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who has to deal with more negative press coverage than his counterpart in Tampa.

As for Buckhorn's handling of the Rays' dilemma, 45 percent of voters support Hizzoner's go-slow-but-be-ready approach. Twenty-one percent of Tampa voters disagree with this approach, while just over a third of respondents were unsure.

The difficulty for Buckhorn, County Commissioner Ken Hagan or any other Hillsborough pol eager to swipe the Rays from St. Pete is voters' unwillingness to spend tax dollars on a new stadium for the team.

Forty-five percent of Tampa voters say they are opposed to spending public funds for a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, forty-three percent say they are willing to do so, but that number will likely drop once a price tag is attached to any prospective stadium.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donna Byars February 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM
I'm so sick of hearing about a new place for the rays duh you people should look at basic math, figure it out stupid owners ; lower the price and fill the place and guess what ? MORE money what do you NOT see? If I could go see th RAYS for $10-30 would probably buy a $5 or $6 beer times that by almost full house and what do you have $$$$$$ pay bills and make money Who Is listening to this???
Donna Byars February 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM
I don't believe your % You people with money are so stupid I am a simple people that has lived on a shoestring all my life but I know you can't make money by raising prices or looking to spend millions more $ for another location. Its not the location Its GREED I've lived in Florida for 38 years and I would never go to outside to a Baseball Game again in the middle of Summer. Been there, Done that! I want comfort; not sticky outdoor miserable games. Taxpayers already spend money on this stadium DEAL with it owners and figure out a way to fill the place up. How simple is that??
CK February 16, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I never understood why these billionaire owner's need tax subsidies from we the taxpayers. These are also the very same 'owner' class that endlessly espouse free market capitalism, EXCEPT when it comes to them parting with some of those billions to improve their income generating business ventures - then they have their hand out and in MY pocket to subsidize them. Why? Sports venues are no different than say an Ikea store, you build it, people shop there/spend money and they go home. What's really the big difference with a sports stadium?
Angela February 18, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Wish more people were as clever as you in regard to taxpayers footing the bill for stadiums. We need to wise up and put the money from taxes into things like education and infrastructure.
Michael D. February 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Every independent research shows the statium is not the reason for the lack of attendence. But when the Rays have been given that research they do not want it. The Ownership of the Rays is making money. The company of the Rays is making a net profit and the company that does the concessions, parking, gift shops, etc is making a ton of money. Remember those are two differnet companies under the same ownership. The owner only talks about the frist one, Rays team, ticket sales, and MLB Deal, but not second company that receives all the other profits. There is a reason Forbes and other business trade papers talk about how extremely profitable the Rays are. They have a sweetheart local tv contract.

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