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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

‘Dear Rays, Montreal won’t pay for your new stadium’ billboard up near Trop

Right next to the Interstate 275 exit for The Pier, between flashes of ads for light beer, is a message on a billboard from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Every minute or so, “Dear Rays, Montreal won’t pay for your new stadium. Sincerely, Taxpayers” lights up just west of Tropicana Field.

It’s a stark message for the Rays, who have been exploring splitting future seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal, a move they say would make the organization more financially viable in Tampa Bay long-term. The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field is up in 2027, and the topic has dominated the St. Petersburg mayoral race, which ends Nov. 2. Tampa has been working on finding a site for the Rays in Ybor City.

Renaud Brossard, Quebec Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, flew down for less than 48 hours to host a news conference Monday morning underneath the billboard outside Lot 2 at Tropicana Field. He said he had hoped the Rays would be in the World Series so he could go to a game.

Brossard said his organization, which he characterized as not-for-profit and nonpartisan, wanted to send a clear message to the Rays: that Quebec taxpayers are against any kind of subsidies to build a stadium in Montreal for a part-time, or even full-time, Rays team. He cited a March poll, where 60 percent of 1,000 Quebecers surveyed did not want public money to go toward the construction of a baseball stadium in Montreal, a project led by billionaire Stephen Bronfman.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:19 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: montreal, rays

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   1. DL from MN Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6049119)
Since when do polls matter when it comes to taxpayer funding of sports stadiums?
   2. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6049120)
In some countries, politicians actually listen to their constituents.
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 26, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6049133)
If only Wall Street whiz boy Stu Sternberg had some money of his own!
   4. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 12:58 PM (#6049139)
Since when do polls matter when it comes to taxpayer funding of sports stadiums?

You're on the wrong side of the border, ol' pal.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6049158)
If only Wall Street whiz boy Stu Sternberg had some money of his own!

The best way for bootstrapping capitalist billionaires to stay billionaires is to help themselves to Other People's Money.
   6. DL from MN Posted: October 26, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#6049162)
You're on the wrong side of the border, ol' pal.

On this side we have two parties who love to give away taxpayer money for sports stadiums. Dubious corporate giveaways might be the only things that get bipartisan consensus.
   7. DL from MN Posted: October 26, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6049163)
It looks like Canada is not immune:

Videotron Centre, Quebec
The city and provincial governments are roughly splitting the cost of building the $400-million arena, which is due to be finished this fall. Media company Quebecor, which is bidding to bring an NHL expansion team to the city, bought the naming rights to the arena and paid $33 million for management rights — an amount that will double if the company is successful in landing an NHL franchise.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: October 26, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6049175)
Yep, when the Quebec branch of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation holds a substatial numbrr of seats in the Quebec Parliament (or whatever they call it), then people will pay attention to what the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has to say. Does anybody here really think that there aren't similar organizations all over the US that have pulled similar stunts?

And who is this billboard aimed at? The fine taxpayers of Tampa either (a) don't want their money wasted on a new stadium in Tampa either or (b) don't want to share their baseball team with Montreal anyway. "If you think we're gonna build a stadium for the Rays, you've got another think coming" is a pointless thing to say on a billboard in Tampa. Now if you want to put it up across the street from the Quebec Parliament with the message "if you waste our money on this, we'll vote you out" at least you'd have a point.

Per Wiki, the CTF claims about 30,000 donors (average donation about $170 in 2019) and 200,000 members -- nationally. It has only had a Quebec director since 2016. Oddly enough, I'm not knowledgable about Canadian non-profit regulations but buying billboard ads (regarding a local Canadian issue) in a foreign country seems like an odd practice for a non-profit.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 26, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6049176)
In some countries, politicians actually listen to their constituents.

Name one.
   10. Dr. Pooks Posted: October 26, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6049182)
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is very right-leaning, which means their political base is mostly in Western Canada, specifically Alberta.

Quebec has its own insular brand of politics that I won't pretend to understand.

However, some universal truths

- Alberta and Quebec are natural enemies. A right-leaning Western think tank has no influence in Francophone Quebec.
- Quebec tends to lean more left-wing and socialist.
- It doesn't matter how the federal government or Western provinces or think tanks feel about public subsidies for stadiums. In the end, if the Quebec government comes hat in hand looking for federal funding for stadiums, they will get it. A Prime Minister doesn't stay Prime Minister for long without a happy Quebec.
   11. Paul d mobile Posted: October 26, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6049190)
Quebec tends to lean more left-wing and socialist.

I don't know that this is really true anymore. They're nationalistic, which sometimes comes off as socialist, and sometimes comes off... through other policies. That said, I think your conclusion holds.
   12. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 27, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6049430)
the Quebec Parliament (or whatever they call it)

It's actually called the National Assembly, despite the fact that Quebec ain't a nation (yet).

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