People are bringing up Albert Whitted Airport again, and this time they're talking about a baseball stadium. It's owned by the city. It's losing money. It's on the water. It won't be confused as a park. In fact, at 110 acres, Albert Whitted has everything Al Lang Field lacked as a prospective new home of the Tampa Bay Rays. There could even be room for parking garages.That somewhat hopeful paragraph is followed by a couple of dozen paragraphs which explain why it would be a bad idea. For example, 80,000 planes takeoff and land from the joint each year. And there's a brand new, multimillion dollar terminal and a new control tower set to open. And that the FAA has poured tens of millions into the place in exchange for the promise that it would be operated as a friggin' airport. And that voters very recently amended the city charter mandating that the land continue to be used as, you guessed it, an airport.
Despite all of that, the article talks about the logistics of the thing as though it were anything but a non-starter, going so far as to speculate whether the airport can remain open even with a stadium on the property:
A stadium, if the FAA would sign off, would be bordered by Tampa Bay to the east, the airport to the north and west, and a city sewage treatment facility to the south. Removing the sewage treatment plant would cost $55- to $65-million, according to a 2002 city study.Forgot about the sewage plant! For further evidence of how silly this is, simply click through to the article where there is a great overhead picture of the site. Then ask yourself how this can even be talked about. Oh wait, this quote from an astute resident explains how it can be talked about:
"It's always the politicians and their friends who happen to be real estate
people who want the property"