There’s an election year coming and signs are it won’t be pretty; plus changes are likely for the Rays and the Trop. Here are some of the local political stories to watch in 2022.
Whither the Rays, and for how much?
There are indications a proposal is coming to spend some form of public money for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Tampa.
Most likely, it would come from a tourist tax or from the property tax increases from new development around the ballpark, or both.
Both the Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa City Council would have to approve. The result could be a stadium on the western edge of Ybor City where the Rays would play the first half of the season, then finish up in Montreal.
Mayor Jane Castor has promised no general fund money will be involved — that is, no property tax money from existing development or development outside the new stadium district.
Still, any use of public money on professional sports stadiums has become controversial, and opposition is likely to surface.