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Thursday, April 01, 2010
Next Up in Selig's Free Stadium Game: Tampa Bay?

They've got a dynamic offense, a great new closer, and a 2008 World Series birth under their belt. Next up for the Rays: a new stadium?

According to the Tampa Bay Online, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig might involve himself in the stadium negotiations between Rays ownership and their municipality. (Geoffrey Rapp, Michael McCann and I were cited in this article).

This would be nothing new for Selig, who just last year helped Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Luria to obtain a new publicly funded stadium.

I have written extensively about how professional sports leagues maintain an under-supply of teams to ensure public stadium financing. For example, in my law review article Sports and the City: How to Curb Sports Teams' Demands for Free Public Stadiums, I explain how the Florida Marlins pressured their municipality into providing huge subsidies by threatening to otherwise move to Las Vegas.

It will be interesting to see what develops in Tampa Bay. Until now, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has not threatened franchise relocation. It is not clear, however, that Selig would follow the same classy approach.

(Cross-posted on SportsJudge Blog)


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