Wahoos will upfront stadium capital expenses

The Pensacola City Council will also consider how to pay for the required improvements to the Blue Wahoos Stadium. The team has offered to handle the work and the city will reimburse them for the expenditures.

Capital Expenses for Updated MLB Standards
1. Bullpens Moved to left field $270,000
2. Internet & Phones for MLB standards $12,500
3. Surveillance Equipment for a command post MLB required $10,000
4. Batting Cage MLB required 2 $50,000
5. Additional training tables $1,000
6. Artificial Field $1,053,000
7. Irrigation for Field $4,000
8. Lights $515,000
9. (2) Dishwasher (other appliances on site) $1,000
Subtotal Estimated Cost of Items need for MLB Standards $1,916,500

Other Upkeep & Age related Repairs
10. HWC Chair Replacement (64) $25,600
11. Interior Painting $15,000
12. Regions Seating repair (73) $7,500
13. Flooring in Winn Dixie Deck $7,000
14. Water Accessing Electrical Outlets $1,000
15. Elevator Servicing (pre-season checkup) $1,000
16. Painting HWC Poles (not covered by insurance) $1,200
Subtotal Estimated Cost of Stadium Upkeep and Agree Related Repairs $58,800

Total of Estimated Cost of Required Capital Improvements $1,975,300


1 thought on “Wahoos will upfront stadium capital expenses

  1. Actually, the agenda has two related agenda items. In Agenda Item 7, the city council will be asked to transfer $2 million from a separate legal entity the Pensacola Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The stadium is not owned by the CRA so it is hard to see why the CRA should pay for private baseball upgrades demanded by Major League Baseball in general and the Miami Marlins and Blue Wahoos in specific. It is also unknown whether replacing the natural grass field with fake grass is a good idea. It is a “multi-use” stadium. It seems like the decision should be about more than just what one user wants. The Blue Wahoos are always free to build their own stadium or buy this one from the city. The $2 million that the city council wants to divert to benefit the Blue Wahoos “could” instead be used for other public purposes in the two-square mile area of the city south of Cervantes Street between “A” Street and 17th Avenue. How about using the money for a stormwater project or sidewalks or street lighting? I bet if you asked people in Belmont DeVilliers, they could come up with some ideas as to how to better spend the $2 million. In Agenda Item 17, the city council will later in the evening be asked to let the Blue Wahoos (the for-profit Northwest Florida Professional Baseball, LLC owned by Quint & Rishy Studer) oversee doing the 16 projects described above and then get repaid. In truth, most of the 16 projects would appear to be “private” improvements that the Blue Wahoos are obligated to pay for. The only two projects that would seem to clearly be obligations of the City of Pensacola are #14 and #15. In Agenda Item 7, Mayor Robinson cites but mischaracterizes the original 2011 Multi-Use Facility Non-Exclusive Agreement. Mayor Robinson withholds from the city council the 2011 use agreement (and four amendments). He claims that Section 12 of the use agreement obligates the City of Pensacola to pay for the 16 projects. He does not tell the city council that the use agreement includes a Section 15 where the Blue Wahoos are expressly obligated to pay for improvements related to baseball. In addition, the Blue Wahoos are obligated to pay for maintenance and repair of those same improvements. Mayor Robinson very clearly separates the Blue Wahoos obligations (#1-9) described as Capital Expenses for Updated MLB Standards. Items #10-16 need more explanation and the new city attorney needs to report to the city council who is obligated to pay for them. As example, #10 is Hancock Whitney Bank Club Chair Replacement at $25,600. First off, why isn’t Hancock Whitney Bank paying this cost? Second, is this a public or private improvement? Does the public have access to this part of the stadium described by the Blue Wahoos as “exclusive” and with its own private entrance? A fair and objective analysis of items 1-16 would probably find that the Blue Wahoos are obligated to pay for most of the projects and perhaps even #11 (Interior Painting) if that refers to the clubhouse that the team rents out as an Airbnb. Of course, Mayor Robinson wants to use public money to give the Studers what they want. They are his political patrons. He is here acting as their agent. By the way, the Studers do have the $2 million. Only a few years ago, they scored a quick $10 million profit on the Southtowne project sold after telling the city council in writing that they had no plans to sell it within 10 years. The Studers have enough money to buy a second baseball team in Wisconsin, set-up other businesses and buy another big home on a lake. By the way, this is what Mayor Hayward promised in part in 2011 about the use agreement, “This lease will protect the taxpayers from having to subsidize any of the facility’s operations….”

Comments are closed.