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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
Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
Lightning in playoff hole as Canadiens win
April 18, 2014 Tampa - Canadiens Rene Bourque beats Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback for a 2nd period goal Friday night at the Forum.
JASON BEHNKEN / STAFF

— As promised, the Lightning looked better in Game 2 against Montreal than they did in Game 1.

James Loney hits a two-run double off New York pitcher Hiroki Kuroda during the fourth inning.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rays break out of doldrums with 11-5 win over Yanks
Suspect held in Pinellas pharmacy robbery
Work on the Falcon's Fury drop tower ride to open at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has been underway since last summer. 
JAY CONNER/STAFF
Opening of new Busch Gardens ride delayed

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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