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City Voters Split Over New Stadium

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The St. Petersburg Times conducted some polling to gauge community support for the Rays' new stadium proposal, and they found that city residents don't want to pay for it. Fifty-seven percent of the 600 people surveyed by the Times said that they would support the Rays' proposal-assuming no city tax dollars were spent on funding it. If city tax dollars were part of the equation, a resounding 69% of voters said they would oppose the plan. The Rays' current plan calls for the bulk of stadium funding to come from the sale of the Tropicana Field site; no numbers were given to indicate support either way for this element of the proposal. The article did mention that support for the proposal increased if the Tropicana Field site were to be used as a mixed-use development. Not surprisingly, those polled who said they went to more than six Rays indicated more support for the proposal.

It's interesting to take a look at these numbers. The Times doesn't really give a complete look at their poll in the article; I'm assuming they'll have more in print tomorrow. Nonetheless, the matter is certainly polling better before the PR blitz and official announcement than did the last proposal to build on the St. Petersburg waterfront. Voters resoundingly rejected a proposal in 2003 to turn much of Albert Whitted Airport into a waterfront park; that vote had 73% voting no. That means no Meigs Field incidents will be happening in St. Petersburg.

Meanwhile, your guest list for the Rays' November 28th official stadium announcement has been unveiled. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker are scheduled to attend, as are Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, and Michael Kalt on the Rays' side.