TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — At least one elected official in Tampa believes the move to build a new baseball stadium in Ybor City for the Tampa Bay Rays would be a waste of money.
“This is a boondoggle. No matter what they say that they are not going to use tax monies,” said long-time City Council Member Charlie Miranda.
Miranda believes the focus should be on paying down the cities outstanding bond debt.
“The City of Tampa is in debt for about 900 million dollars in bond money. That’s only the tip of the iceberg because this year, my estimation we will have a shortfall again on the budget,” said Miranda.
He points to other infrastructure problems with roads, water and sewer lines that he believes should be repaired and replaced before efforts are put into building a new stadium for a baseball team.
“It is hard to understand why we do this only for sports. We do not do it for any other industry,” said Miranda.
On Friday, when city and county leaders joined the Rays to announce their priority to build a new stadium in Ybor City, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said no new tax money will be used for the stadium.
“Obviously commissioner Hagan and I have both said for any number of years that we’re not going to put the burden on the taxpayer,” said Buckhorn.
Miranda isn’t convinced.
“It’s time that we draw a line. It’s time that we realize what this really means,” he said.