Re: Sarasota Facility in Limbo
Okay.... I took one for the team and listened to the session. I came away VERY skeptical that the Sarasota extension is going to happen. There were 9 commisioners sitting at the table. That included the mayor (who can't speak English correctly. That's always impressive) and the City Manager. Past votes on other issues were 5-0 so only 5 of them vote.
But... 3 commisioners (one of which was the mayor) came out strongly against the deal as it stands now. And would have voted No had a vote occured at that meeting. NO commisioner advocated approving the deal during the meeting, or spoke in favor of it.
Essentially, the deal negotiaters were told by the council to make one of three things happen
1) Lower the cost of the project - The negotiaters said they had already lowered it, and would look at it again with Reds.
2) See if Sarasota County would kick in more
3) See if Reds would kick in more. $15 Million was given as minimum figure. The Reds have said 10 million was their limit. As structured now, 5 million was essentially upfront (there were some quirks), and 5 million would be paid over 30 years. The Reds have now agreed to go 30 year lease (up from 20). Because of some some revenue restrictions, if the Reds kicked in more money, it would have to be upfront money, not paid over course of lease.
The deadline to apply for the state money that was just signed by Jeb Bush is October 6th, and the entire plan would have to be in place by then.
I saw a little wiggle room - The negotiaters presented "worst case" scenarios on yearly budget deficits, but never gave estimate on optmistic projections. Secondly, the City intends to keep Ed Smith stadium for other events. But the worst case scenario on that is that it would lose about $700,00 a year. So losing Ed Smith stadium would solve a big part of their yearly bite. The negotiators also did not present a case for lowered revenues should Spring Training leave.
So at this point.... I think the Reds leave Sarasota.
Last edited by JaxRed; 07-17-2006 at 01:17 AM.