Poll asks residents if they’d re-elect Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and pay $350 million for a new Rays stadium | Tampa Bay News | Tampa

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Jane Castor / Twitter

Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor at Santa Fest last weekend.

A new poll asks Tampeños about the city of Tampa, the potential Ybor City stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, and whether or not they would re-elect Mayor Jane Castor.

It is unclear how many people were interviewed, but the survey was sent via SMS to a CL employee’s cellphone yesterday. The survey was commissioned by Mercury Public Affairs.

Public records show that Castor’s Tampa Strong PAC paid Mercury $ 12,000 in August.

The poll hypothetically breaks down details of a plan to bring the stadium to Tampa. One question said the Rays would play around 40 games a year, mostly early and later in the season, with the other half in Montreal. The hypothetical plan also says the Rays would pay half the cost of the new ballpark, adding that the other half – about $ 350 million – will come from public sources of income such as new property and sales taxes from the ballpark and development in some form would come a tourist tax.

“Would you support or oppose such a plan by Rays?” asks the poll. The question is noteworthy because the mayor has yet to speak out publicly about taxpayers paying half the bill for a new stadium.

Yesterday, Adam Smith, director of communications for the city of Tampa, told his former Tampa Bay Times colleague Charlie Frago that “no dollar amount has been agreed”.

Smith added that Castor’s employees are still working on “a workable financial package” with Hillsborough County and the Tampa Sports Authority, and that the package would be “ready soon”.


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One question is a recent poll on Tampa's Mayor Jane Castor.  - SCREENSHOT BY CL TAMPA BAY

Screenshot of CL Tampa Bay

One question is a recent poll on Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor.

At the national level, the value of sports arenas has been seriously challenged. Castor has laid off sports economists who have been wondering aloud whether a new ballpark will bring significant economic development to a city.

Castor is not up for re-election until 2023 and has no opponent to draw, but the poll asks twice whether the respondent would re-elect Castor – once at the beginning and again at the end. Between the first poll of the respondent and the second, the formulation of the polls celebrates the mayor, who defeated the now deceased David A. Straz in a 2019 runoff election.

One side of the poll describes Castor as an “adoptive” and “brave” leader who “attacks crime,” with the sentences underlined to draw the reader’s attention to the words. It is up to the respondent to make their own choice, from very positive to negative.

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A question in a recent poll of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.  - SCREENSHOT BY CL TAMPA BAY

Screenshot of CL Tampa Bay

A question in a recent poll of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

After making a selection, respondents are asked to answer that question in their own words: “After hearing this about Jane Castor, what would you say is her greatest strength … what she is best at as mayor best can? ”

The poll also brings up Castor’s controversial program for crime-free apartment buildings and asks if respondents have heard of it and if they support it.

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