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Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Westshore Dick’s brings game to Tampa
A new flagship Dick’s Sporting Goods store opens Friday at Westshore Plaza mall, and if there’s one word to describe what makes the store different, it’s this: More.
One of the performers is “DJ Ravi Drums” Ravi Jakhotia, a graduate of Chamberlain High School.
‘Stomp’ show kicks off Bollywood events in Tampa
Amber Lynn Beckwith, left, and Ariel Anareshea Young were each charged with one count of burglary with battery. PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE
St. Pete women arrested in road rage incident
By May 3, the team must decide whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Clayborn’s rookie contract or allow him to become a free agent in 2015. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bucs face decision on DE Clayborn’s contract

Opinion

Otto: As rail goes, Florida seems to be on a train to nowhere

Steve Otto There was a story this week that Amtrak was considering cutting a 600-mile stretch from its Southwest Chief that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. The move would eliminate service to a dozen or more towns in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. Amtrak might reconsider if those four states cough up $4 million a year for the next 10 years to upgrade track and services.

Editorials:
Editorial: Rotary’s century of service
Editorial: Protecting micro-breweries is good for business
Editorial: Lawmakers should pass immigrant tuition bill
Letters:
Letters to the editor: ‘Legislatum Creatum’
Everyone should help pay for this Republican mandate
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Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Westshore Dick’s brings game to Tampa
A new flagship Dick’s Sporting Goods store opens Friday at Westshore Plaza mall, and if there’s one word to describe what makes the store different, it’s this: More.
One of the performers is “DJ Ravi Drums” Ravi Jakhotia, a graduate of Chamberlain High School.
‘Stomp’ show kicks off Bollywood events in Tampa
Amber Lynn Beckwith, left, and Ariel Anareshea Young were each charged with one count of burglary with battery. PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE
St. Pete women arrested in road rage incident
By May 3, the team must decide whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Clayborn’s rookie contract or allow him to become a free agent in 2015. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bucs face decision on DE Clayborn’s contract

Opinion

Otto: As rail goes, Florida seems to be on a train to nowhere

Steve Otto There was a story this week that Amtrak was considering cutting a 600-mile stretch from its Southwest Chief that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. The move would eliminate service to a dozen or more towns in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. Amtrak might reconsider if those four states cough up $4 million a year for the next 10 years to upgrade track and services.

Editorials:
Editorial: Rotary’s century of service
Editorial: Protecting micro-breweries is good for business
Editorial: Lawmakers should pass immigrant tuition bill
Letters:
Letters to the editor: ‘Legislatum Creatum’
Everyone should help pay for this Republican mandate

Fasano’s end game: No more NFL in Florida

Posted Nov 4, 2011 by Tom Jackson

Updated Nov 4, 2011 at 06:07 PM

Taking aim at the National Football League while pushing his gift for populist grandstanding to new heights, Mike Fasano files a feel-good bill he knows will never get out of committee.

I mean, his heart is in the right place.  It’s infuriating that the NFL orders local TV blackouts for games—often played in taxpayer-financed stadiums—that aren’t sold out 72 hours ahead of kickoff.  But it’s a seller’s market, and if the Legislature attempts to enforce the will of their couch potato constituents on the league, the reason bay-area Buccaneers fans will never be blacked out again is because they’ll be playing in Los Angeles.  Say hello, also, to the San Antonio Dolphins and the Portland Jaguars. And goodbye to ever hosting another Super Bowl.

Worse, the state senator’s vision—team owners should buy up or give away tickets to achieve a sellout—plays season-ticket holders for chumps.  Yes, there is cache in seeing the games live and in person, but it radically devalues ticket-holders’ investment when foot-draggers know they can score freebies just by procrastinating.  Fasano’s bill represents a disastrous meddling in a public-private partnership that threatens every future arrangement of a remotely similar nature.

By the way, my column on the topic, available here, still applies.

The days of the blackout are numbered, but it will be brought down by television advertisers demanding not to be cut out of local markets over the matter of a few thousand tickets, not the misguided hubris of a politician sticking up for the best interests of the “little guy” who doesn’t understand what his best interests are.  You want the blackout policy to end?  Call, email or write the marketing departments of the NFL’s official sponsors, national and local.  But on this wrong-headed confrontation, Sen. Fasano should stand down.

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