To Build or Not to Build: Examining the Public Discourse Regarding St. Petersburg’s Stadium Plan

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Florida State University, USA
  • | 2 John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), USA
  • | 3 University of Alberta, Canada
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Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays have proposed constructing a facility on the St. Petersburg waterfront. The projected cost of this stadium is $450 million, which will be financed partially by the Rays’ ownership. The remaining cost will be financed through tax revenues generated from the private redevelopment of Tropicana Field—the Rays’ current facility. Using content analysis, this article examines the public discourse regarding the proposed stadium. A pillar of controversy surrounding the stadium plan centers on opportunity-cost issues. Furthermore, in the context of the public-good argument, there is empirical evidence among bloggers that the stadium would stimulate awareness, improve the city’s image, or simply give the city a platform to showcase its amenities. This study aimed to provide a better understanding of the prevailing themes characterizing support for or opposition to this stadium plan and generate testable research hypotheses.

Mondello is with the Sport Management Program, Florida State University. Schwester is with the Dept. of Public Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), New York, NY. Humphreys is with the Dept. of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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