ST. PETERSBURG, FL: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation unveiled a billboard right next to the Tropicana Field telling the Tampa Bay Rays that taxpayers wouldn’t pay for their new stadium in Montréal, Canada.
“The Rays are welcome to play in Montreal, but Quebec taxpayers aren’t going to pay for a new stadium,” said Renaud Brossard, Quebec Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Quebec’s economic recovery is fragile, our health-care system is struggling and this is the most heavily taxed jurisdiction in North America.
“Quebec taxpayers can’t pay for another stadium for a part-time baseball team.”
The billboard sends a clear message: “Dear Rays, Montréal won’t pay for your new stadium. Sincerely, Taxpayers.”
A group led by wealthy businessman Stephen Bronfman is in talks with Rays owner Stuart Sternberg to have the team spend half the season based out of Montreal.
Bronfman’s group has registered to lobby the government of Quebec in order to get a subsidy for the project, which includes the construction of a new stadium in downtown Montreal.
When polled on the issue, 60 per cent of Quebecers were opposed to subsidizing baseball in Montréal.
“The Rays need to know we don’t have hundreds of millions of bucks lying around,” said Brossard. “Here’s the reality: A new ballpark ranks way below fixing roads, supporting hospitals and reducing the heavy tax burden on struggling families.”
According to the IGM Economic Experts panel of the Chicago Booth School of Business, 83 per cent of economists say subsidies to build sports stadiums for professional teams are a poor use of taxpayers’ money.
A copy of the billboard can be viewed by clicking HERE.