Skip to content

Roundup 6-21-2019

June 20, 2019

Contents

Transportation – Very Varied

— The Court Speaks

— The Mayor Speaks Again

— St Pete BRT

— Virgin Trains

— Scooters

— A Bit Too Much

South Tampa – A Good No

Bayshore – We’ll See

Airport – A Loss

USF Area – What of MOSI?

Jackson House – The Time is Now

Rays

Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

_________________________


Transportation – Very Varied


— The Court Speaks

As anyone who keeps up with the news probably already knows, the judge in the All for Transportation referendum case has ruled. From Florida Politics:

Hillsborough’s 1 percent transportation and transit sales tax will stay in place, Circuit Judge Rex Barbas ruled Monday.

“It is evident that the voters of Hillsborough County desire to improve transportation,” Barbas wrote in a 16-page partial summary judgment upholding the voter-approved tax, with some changes. (A summary judgment allows a party to win a case without a trial.)

The decision finds the ballot measure met constitutional requirements for informing voters of ballot intent and cannot be stricken down in its entirety.

But

While the decision is an overall win for All For Transportation and the voters who approved it, there were some portions of the amendment stricken because of their unconstitutionality.

The court struck from the charter amendment references to exact percentages allocated to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and the three cities within Hillsborough County. It also strikes specific references to how much money can be spent on certain types of projects like roads or transit.

It also restricts authority under the prescribed Independent Oversight Committee. The ruling finds that the committee may still review and evaluate plans, but allowing the authority to strike down spending plans usurps the Hillsborough County Commission’s authority to self-determine how to use taxpayer funds.

“The Legislature has mandated that [the Board of County Commissioners] is solely responsible for determining which uses to apply the proceeds to and how much to allocate to each use,” the ruling said.

Under the ruling, the Independent Oversight Committee may not override elected bodies’ spending plans.

Because there still may be appeals, we are not going to get into the legal aspects of the ruling. (You can read the ruling here).  However,

. . . All For Transportation, the advocacy group that put the tax on the ballot, is hoping county commissioners will choose to reinstate the provisions that the judge removed.

“We will ask the board at its next meeting to do just that, to follow the wishes of the more than 282,000 residents who voted for the plan exactly as described in the Charter amendment that they approved to be spent,” chair Tyler Hudson said in a statement. “With this challenge behind us, we implore our local leaders to turn to the work of implementing transportation solutions that will reduce congestion, make our roads safer for everyone, and expand transit options.”

That would not be as firm as a charter provision, but there are ways to make it stronger than a mere Commission vote.  Interlocal agreements could tighten it up, as would requiring a supermajority to change it (though, admittedly, we have not checked all the technicalities for doing that). And this from the Commission meeting is notable:

The speakers represented a mix of interest groups that often oppose each other when speaking to the commission and other boards about transportation. People from the business community, anti-highway expansion groups, transit riders, the chamber of commerce, the Tampa Bay Lightning and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s office all asked the board to reinstate the allocations people voted for in the charter amendment.

“Not often do you see … the chamber, the Economic Development Cooperation, the (Tampa Bay) Partnership and the activists all on the same side,” former Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione said. “I think that is a tremendous statement.”

No, you don’t.

In any event, there are a few things before there can be an ordinance:

“There’s no way we could pass an ordinance today,” county attorney Christine Beck said, explaining that there needs to be a public hearing and that there’s still the issue of what the judge will rule on the bond validation.

Despite some comments by some Commissioners that seem to lean towards wanting to change the formula, the majority of the board is on record as supporting the formula, so even if it a takes a little time, it should get done.  The more complicated part is making it stick over 30 years.

However, it should be remembered that, at this point (at least for a short time) the situation is still in a state of flux. We shall see if there are any appeals.


— The Mayor Speaks Again

The Business Journal had another summary of the mayor’s views on transportation, this time from a Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce meeting.

On proposed I-275 improvements: “That was a very contentious meeting, and the decision was made to move forward with those plans. We have to be very concise when it comes to those plans. There were too many plans laid out for that, but I will do everything that I can to ensure that the interstate system is safe. … I do not agree with destroying any of our historic neighborhoods to widen the interstate. It can be done without that. We are looking at that.”

We are not sure exactly what that means in practice. Nevertheless, we appreciate the statement that historical neighborhoods should not be destroyed to widen the interstate.  While just what expansion she supports is not addressed, that is a different tone than the last administration.

On what she wants to do with transit: “What I want to do with the city and working with Hillsborough County is look for those transportation solutions for our citizens — getting from point A to point B — and looking at activation of the CSX line. That rail line is already there. We’ll shorten the time frame to get people on it. It would be a solution from South Tampa all the way up to [University of South Florida], to connect those neighborhoods most specifically East Tampa, connecting them to the educational resources at USF all then the way downtown, Ybor City and all the way down to South Tampa. Even the Streetcar extension, looking at something that can connect downtown to Westshore along say Cypress or Cass Street, Cypress is the best, looking at Streetcar or bus rapid transit on that.”

We have written about this before, but we will address it again.  We like the general sentiment.   We like the CSX idea.  We have one problem: downtown to Westshore.  Logically, that connection should use the same technology and be connected to the CSX lines.  That way there can be uninterrupted connections from Westshore and the airport throughout the network including to USF and potentially Pasco.  There is no reason to spend money extending the streetcar to the airport when you can do it with CSX lines pretty much as easily and for more benefit in the long-run. It may (or it may not) cost a little more, but we doubt it would be that much more and it would be far better in the long run.  Of course, that assumes that what runs on the CSX track is useful local rail, not locomotive hauled commuter rail, which would be a waste of the asset.

Nevertheless, on transit, the basic outlines are something we can work with.


— St Pete BRT

The St. Pete BRT saga continued last week, and got a bit weird.

In the latest of an ongoing transit saga, the St. Pete Beach City Commission voted unanimously during Thursday morning’s City Commission Special Meeting to pass a resolution opposing the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project as currently proposed by PSTA.

The Central Avenue BRT project would connect downtown St. Petersburg to St. Pete Beach with faster service and fewer stops, cutting the current Central Avenue Trolley’s 55-minute one-way service to just 35 minutes. 

Last Tuesday evening, the Commission made clear its opposition to the Central Avenue BRT’s route south of 75th Avenue. The route was originally proposed to terminate at the Don CeSar at the entrance to Pass-a-Grille. In an effort to compromise, PSTA amended the route to terminate at the St. Pete Beach public access known as County Park, just north of 46th avenue. The Commission rejected this compromise and proposed that the route terminate at 75th Avenue, a solution that was not favorable to PSTA or the City of St. Petersburg. 

The resolution states that St. Pete Beach opposes the Central Avenue BRT project as it is currently proposed, and requests that the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), which is the primary funder of the Central Avenue BRT project, take no further action on PSTA’s application. It directs the City Manager to send the resolution to all potential funders and cities involved in the BRT project, including PSTA, FDOT, the City of St. Petersburg and the City of South Pasadena. The resolution does not prohibit the city from entering into further negotiations with PSTA regarding the BRT.

Given the previous goings on in St. Pete Beach, that was not that surprising.  And it was even less surprising following this:

The action came one day after Kriseman sent a letter to St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson asking that the neighboring beach town “not take any action that could potentially jeopardize the whole project.”

Kriseman ended his two-page letter by saying the St. Petersburg City Council would discuss bringing back the extra-long buses and running the route to The Don Cesar “should St. Pete Beach take action indicating its unwillingness to be a partner in this endeavor.”

This, not surprisingly, garnered this reaction:

“This kind of letter represents arrogance posing as virtue,” commissioner Terri Finnerty said. “Mayor Kriseman, please take care of your own city and we’ll take care of our own.”

Commissioner Melinda Pletcher also criticized members of the transit agency board for how they have characterized St. Pete Beach commissioners.

“You throw out words like ‘bigotry’ and you throw out words like ‘unconscionable,’ and then you get into what I would consider mafia move threats just to elicit fear in our city over what?” Pletcher said. “They’re messing with our community, and it’s not right.”

We are not sure it was a “mafia move” (we are not even completely sure what a “mafia move” is), but it was ill-advised. You can see the letter here.  Most of the letter is fine.  The threat at the end was totally unnecessary.  As the Times accurately pointed out in an editorial:

It’s not helpful for Forward Pinellas executive director Whit Blanton to jump up and lecture St. Pete Beach commissioners. Or for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to threaten to shove 60-foot buses down St. Pete Beach’s throat if it doesn’t get in line. Or for St. Pete Beach Commissioner Melinda Pletcher to complain about “mafia move threats.’’

That seems accurate enough though the letter was clearly the most avoidably counter-productive move.

The Times continued:

In the big picture, this bus rapid transit project is a modest first effort. But it’s a start, and it needs to be successful for Tampa Bay to demonstrate it is prepared to embrace more robust regional mass transit to ease chronic traffic congestion.

As we have said from the beginning, we think this is good project.  We do not think this project is vital for transit in Hillsborough County to succeed, but it is important for Pinellas and for creating regional transit connections (eventually).  And it is unlikely to cause the problems raised as reasons to reject it, but we also know that for many that does not matter.

In the meantime:

The St. Petersburg City Council voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to allocate $4 million to the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The decision comes after a volatile week for the project, which was officially opposed by the St. Pete Beach City Commission Thursday morning. The Commission passed a resolution to oppose the project in its current form, despite receiving a letter from St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman urging support for the project.

The funds from the city of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) would make up a quarter ($11.6 million) of the total funding for the $43 million project. The rest of the funding is expected to come from the Federal Transit Administration ($21.8 million) and the Florida Department of Transportation ($10.5 million). The project would come at no cost to the City of St. Pete Beach.

The unanimous decision signals St. Petersburg’s confidence and enthusiasm for the project, which has been in the works for more than a decade. There are also signs that it could continue to move as scheduled, even without the support of St. Pete Beach. Since Gulf Boulevard, which runs the length of St. Pete Beach, is a Florida State Road, it is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Transportation. As such, the project could continue to move as scheduled. The line is currently expected to be completed and opened to riders by late 2020/early 2021.

The importance attached to the project raises a question as to why PSTA did not get an agreement with St. Pete Beach’s government or use another route where there was agreement before getting to this stage.  We get that, given who owns the roads, the system can be built with the system St. Pete Beach’s government most opposes even if St. Pete Beach objects. On the other hand, choosing to put it on St. Pete Beach when St. Pete Beach has long indicated its special dislike of transit with its treatment of PSTA (and given the mess St. Pete Beach had with development rules) is a bit odd.

Hopefully, because this is a good project, it will get worked out, but it should never have gotten to this point.


— Virgin Trains

There was some news about the Virgin Trains Tampa leg, sort of.

Miami-based Virgin Trains USA presented additional info to the Central Florida Expressway Authority on June 13 for its $4 billion Orlando-to-Miami route and proposed alignments for its Phase 3 Orlando-to-Tampa route.

Proposed paths for the Tampa line include a potential connection to the Orange County Convention Center, which would add extra cost to the project, along with eight additional miles on Interstate 4 to connect to Tampa.

The other proposed alignment would go from below the airport and down to Interstate 4 near the State Road 417 corridor, which Virgin representatives said makes more business sense for them because of the lower cost and less distance required on the I-4 right of way.

“We are a private business looking to build these connections as smartly and affordably as we can, so the economics of looking at those two alternatives really jump out on this slide,” Virgin Trains USA’s Adrian Share, executive vice president of rail infrastructure, said during the meeting. “We looked at going out of the north, and there was an additional $500 million to $600 million in elevated structure we would need to construct along State Road 528 to the convention center.”

In response to the proposal, Orange County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey raised multiple concerns about the train not reaching the convention center with the south alignment if that is selected.

* * *

Meanwhile, Share said in response to the potential for a Virgin Trains stop near the theme parks that they are in early talks with local businesses, but that the location was far from finalized yet. VanderLey said that local hoteliers told her they would prefer the potential attractions stop not to favor one theme park over another. The train line notably highlighted Walt Disney World as a potential stop in previous materials.

 

From the Business Journal – click on map for article

Sometimes we wonder if Florida officials understand the difference between intercity rail and local rail, especially privately funded rail. It makes no sense for intercity rail to have four or five stops around southern Orlando. It is not just because of time at the platform. Every stop means slowing down, standing at the station, and accelerating out of the station rather than running continuously at a fast speed.  People do not take “high-speed” intercity trains to stop every few miles.

Connecting the airport to the convention center is the job for local transportation.  In fact, ideally there would be a Virgin stop at the airport where you could get SunRail not separate Virgin/SunRail and Virgin/airport stops with SunRail relying on intercity rail for the relatively short connection to the airport.  (SunRail should connect to the airport and convention center, but if Orlando wants to mess that up, that is their issue, as long as there are not too many Virgin stops for us.)

Moreover, given that the government is not paying for it, we are not sure why local officials’ preference between two viable routes should make any difference, especially since those officials’ preference has more stops and the not insignificant price tag of $500 million.

It is not that we care whether the train takes a northern or southern alignment per se.  We just do not want to have too many stops slowing our trips to South Florida down.  Nor should Virgin Trains.  If they have too many stops, people will just choose to drive.

As usual, the Tampa news was sparse:

As for the right of way negotiations for Tampa, the rail line is currently going through an environmental re-evaluation process related to the National Environmental Policy Act, which Share said would be a nine to 12-month process with the Federal Railroad Administration. Virgin is also currently negotiating the two agreements for the Tampa right of way with the Florida Department of Transportation and CFX.

We look forward to the announcement for the proposed station in Tampa.


— Scooters

There was scooter news:

With a stroke of Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ pen, electric-powered scooters are now officially legal in Florida.

The Governor on Tuesday signed a bill (HB 453) into law that takes effect immediately.

Which includes this:

It also gives the city broader authority to revisit its program to allow scooter use in bike lanes, which it was previously prohibited from doing.

Tampa acted quickly:

Electric scooter riders in Tampa are now free to ride on the city streets and bike lanes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 453, Micromobility Devices this week, allowing e-scooters to be treated as bikes, but allows the county or municipality to regulate the operation of micromobility devices.

Although municipalities can have home rule and make restrictions tighter, Tampa is standing by the new law, allowing scooters to ride in previously restricted areas. However, e-scooters are still restricted on theTampa Riverwalk, Bayshore Boulevard and East Seventh Street in Ybor City, according to a city spokeswoman.

But they should also get them off sidewalks as much as possible and work diligently to improve (and protect) bike lanes to improve everyone’s experience and ability to get around.


— A Bit Too Much

There is a new law in Florida, a state where most 16 year old drivers must be off the roads by 11 pm. :

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday morning that completely removes the need for a human operator in an autonomous vehicle, which is thought to be useful for people who are disabled or unable to drive.

* * *

“We need to be nimble and we always need to be looking and making sure our plans aren’t obsolete as new technologies develop,” DeSantis said at the SunTrax facility in Auburndale, which is a testing ground for autonomous vehicles and technology.

As we have noted numerous times, autonomous vehicles are an unproven technology. We are all for testing autonomous vehicles on a closed track like SunTrax (as the SunTrax website says: “in safe and controlled environments”).  That is perfectly rational.  However, the bill goes beyond that:

The House Bill 311: Autonomous Vehicles’ language, which is now signed into law, authorizes a fully autonomous vehicle, which is defined as any vehicle equipped with an automated driving system, to operate in this state regardless of whether a human operator is physically present in the vehicle.

However, the vehicle must have a teleoperation system, which the bill language describes as the hardware and software installed in a motor vehicle which allows a remote human operator to supervise the driving trip. They must be physically present in the United States and be licensed to operate a motor vehicle .

The bill also says there must be insurance requirements for autonomous vehicles and that autonomous vehicles must respect fees charged and staging or pickup locations such as at the airport or seaport.

That is a bit much for an untested and unproven technology.  And having a guy in California be sitting near a kill switch is not really comforting, especially because it does not appear to limit the number of cars one person can be monitoring.

“This is by far what I think is the best law in country,” said Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, who has pushed for innovation for self-driving cars in Florida since being elected into the House in 2010. “This will allow ultimate flexibility for companies, it has responsible insurance requirements that insures a third party is validating this technology as it goes on the road, but most importantly it puts Florida on the forefront of this technology and it highlights our transportation assets.”

It is fine to give companies flexibility, as long as it does not sacrifice safety, but, as we noted, this is unproven technology.  Flexibility is part of trust and trust should be earned, not presumed. (And, while we get the idea behind it, given the entities involved in the autonomous vehicle race and their financial assets, the insurance requirement does not necessarily provide any third party validation.)

We are for allowing more controlled testing in Florida, and there may be a time when this bill makes sense.  However, right now it is a step too far.


South Tampa – A Good No

The project at 3011 West Gandy went before City Council last week. From URBN Tampa Bay:

The 4-story, 80-unit apartment project proposed for 3011 West Gandy was REJECTED by the Tampa City Council tonight. The vote was 6-1 with Maniscalco voting in favor of the project.

The Council cited several reasons for rejection, but best of all was when Councilman Dingfelder (correctly) raised concern that the project was not a mixed-use project just because it had a measly 700 square feet of office space. Therefore, the project was ineligible for the density increases sought by the developer.

Tokenized commercial space or mixed-use by technicality is not mixed-use. It is not the intent of the term “mixed-use” in the code.

Exactly.  It is not the intent of mixed-use, and it is poor design.  Good for the City Council.  We can and should do better than this proposal.

Hopefully, it is a sign that there will be much less settling in the new administration/Council.


Bayshore – We’ll See

There was a time when this news would have brought a decent amount of excitement around Tampasphere.  Now, it brings cautious optimism with a little bit of concern.

Related Group paid $26.25 million for the nearly 5-acre Bay Oaks apartment property, which has frontage on Bayshore Boulevard and spans from the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway to Bayshore. The deal closed June 7, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Thursday.

A spokesman for Related confirmed the acquisition Thursday and declined further comment.

This is the lot:

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

By urban infill standards and Bayshore in particular, it is a very large site. For comparison, to build the 24-story Virage Bayshore, developers purchased the 1.63-acre Colonnade Restaurant site on Bayshore Boulevard.

While Related’s intentions for this particular site aren’t known, its executives have been open about their desire to build luxury condos in Tampa and St. Petersburg — and this is a prime redevelopment site. Related’s current Tampa Bay projects include Manor Riverwalk, on the site of the former Tampa Tribune, Icon Harbour Island, Icon Central in downtown St. Petersburg and an apartment community in the Westshore Marina District.

While the article conveniently left Pierhouse off the list, that was the first, but not necessarily the worst. The rest span not very good to ok.  None are really up to Related’s true standards or abilities, even for less than primary Related markets.  As we have always said, Related does some exceptionally good work – just not here.

But that could always change.  Given the size of the lot and the location, they could do something really nice and mixed use in that location that really anchors that area.  The question is “will they?”  We shall see.


Airport – A Loss

There was news that we expected might be coming, though we definitely did not wish for:

Icelandair, one of Tampa International Airport’s highly touted success stories, has ceased offering nonstop flights to or from Tampa.

“Icelandair is pulling out of Tampa International,” airport spokeswoman Janet Scherberger confirmed in an email Monday to the Tampa Bay Times.

While this may be true:

“Fortunately, even with their departure, our international passenger growth trend continues,” she said. “Scheduled seat capacity is up about 30 percent this winter thanks to increased frequencies on Lufthansa and Norwegian and the start of Amsterdam service on Delta airlines.

“Icelandair represented a tiny fraction of our passengers — about .1 percent (that’s 1/10th of a percent) of our overall annual passengers year-to-date and less than 2 percent of international passengers,” Scherberger said. “So far this year, international passenger traffic is up more than 16 percent.”

And it is true that there are issues beyond the airport’s (or this area’s) immediate control (including equipment issues – here and here) that may contribute to such a decision, we are still not happy about it.

Nevertheless, the only thing to do is keep working to develop more service.  Almost no progress is made without some setbacks.  The key is to maximize progress and reduce setbacks.  So far, the airport has does a pretty job of that (and maybe Icelandair will return at some point).


USF Area – What of MOSI?

There has been a lot of discussion about the redevelopment of the USF area recently.  One of the major questions has been what to do with the MOSI property after MOSI makes its expected move to the Water Street area. While looking for something else in the County Commission agenda for June 5, we ran across an item for a presentation regarding some vision planning for the area.  You can see the presentation attachment to the agenda here.

We are not sure what stage this is in, but we thought it would be interesting to look at some of it now.

The document has some market information and general ideas. First, the objective statement on page 2 of the pdf:

From Hillsborough BOCC 6/5/2019 Agenda – click on picture for pdf

Then is has this conceptual drawing at page 16 of the pdf:

 

From Hillsborough BOCC 6/5/2019 Agenda – click on picture for pdf

Page 17 has some examples in other areas of the what is called a “vision board”, apparently what they say they are envisioning.

 

From Hillsborough BOCC 6/5/2019 Agenda – click on picture for pdf

Looking at the concept image, the orange building is MOSI, repurposed as “innovation/incubator.” There are office buildings on Fowler. There is a hotel and some apartments to the far left. The red is “circulation” which includes roads and a large quantity of parking.

What is really striking is that, unlike the vision board images on the next page, in the conceptual drawing, the parking breaks up any reasonable connection between the buildings. The vision board images show park-like space, common areas, plazas, pedestrian circulation, and generally pleasant spaces where people could congregate.  The concept drawing has pretty much none of that, especially because the parking gets in the way of all of it. (The one retention pond near MOSI where a common area could in theory be is bordered by a parking garage and Fowler. How peaceful.) Where is anything in the objective statement? Where are the amenities?  Where is the useful, common space?  How is this any different than any other sprawling office park?  Just calling something innovative or a center for innovation does not make it so.

Moreover, it seems to have escaped the planners that the CSX tracks, while not reaching the property in question, run very close to it and can quite easily be extended to reach it (basically a straight shot running right up to MOSI).  There is nothing in the conceptual drawing that indicates any possibility of a transit connection (or useful pedestrian or bike infrastructure).  It is one big, outdated car-centric design.

The conceptual drawing is basically a 1990’s suburban office park with MOSI on one side.  It has no imagination and none of the elements in the vision board images.  And it fails to achieve the stated objectives.  If this is a serious idea, they need to go back to the drawing board and try again.


Jackson House – The Time is Now

Bay News 9 had a report on Jackson house.

A community-wide effort is underway to preserve a piece of Tampa history.

* * *

Now, Mayor Jane Castor said it’s time to revive this history.

“We’ve waited way too long to focus on it, but it’s never too late,” Castor said. “We need to get started as quickly as we can. Get it restored and see what part it can play into downtown Tampa.”  

The strategy includes saving some bricks, artifacts and personalized walls. Much of the rest would be torn down. Then the Jackson House would be rebuilt.

“It’s going to be rebuilt in that same place,” Collins said. “It’s going to look the same, similar to what it was. And then we’re going to restore it to that level, to show this was something very significant in Tampa.”

While we would prefer really saving the building, that is much better than simply creating computer images and turning the lot into a parking lot with a plaque.

The tear down and rebuild is estimated to cost $1.5 million. Next month, the Jackson House Foundation will begin a big push to raise the money. It’s a push Willie Robinson won’t get to see. He recently passed away.

You can get information and donate at the website here.


Rays

Aside from games, there was Rays news here, here, here, and here.  And a late breaking:

The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball’s executive council to explore a plan in which they would play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and the remainder of the year in Montreal, commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

While the plan is in its nascent stages, the Rays have embraced the two-city solution as the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area after years of failed attempts to build a new stadium in the region, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Under the plan, the Rays would play in new stadiums in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, sources said. The number of home games each city would receive has not been determined, sources said.

Manfred referred to the idea of a two-city Rays team as a long-term project.

The ability to play games early in the season in Florida would preclude the need for a domed stadium, cutting the cost of a new building.

The ESPN article is here. As noted by the Times:

The Rays were given permission Thursday by Major League Baseball to explore the possibility of doing so, though the plan would face several significant hurdles before being implemented, likely not until 2023 or so.

That would include negotiating permission from the city of St. Petersburg, given the use agreement requiring all home games be played at Tropicana Field through 2027; getting approval from the players union, as players would have two in-season homes; arranging for a new or vastly renovated facilty in Montreal; working out logistics on how the schedule would be split; and getting formal approval from MLB based on working out a number of other issues, such as TV rights, sponsorships and more.

Since this just came up at the last minute, we hold off commenting further this Roundup.


Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

New from the other side of the state:

Boeing says it’s moving the headquarters of its space and launch division to Florida.

The company said Wednesday it was moving the space division headquarters from Arlington, Virginia to Titusville on Florida’s Space Coast.

Boeing official Leanne Caret says in a news release it makes sense to move Boeing’s space headquarters to Florida where so much space history has taken place. The company also is working on several future launches.

Florida is home to the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.

Not much to say about that, but to acknowledge that it is a real tech cluster.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: