Stuart Sternberg read his anticipated statement and said nothing most of us didn’t already know. Some of the highlights…
- “Baseball Will Not Work Longterm In Downtown St. Pete.”
- “The Rays will not be playing in Tropicana Field when our lease expires in 2027.”
- “When I assumed control of the Rays…Everyone believed that with a winning team on the field, fans would fill the stands. That has not been the case.”
- “It is my conviction that if baseball is to survive and flourish in Tampa Bay for the long-term, we must rise above municipal boundaries and work together with a common interest…We will consider any potential ballpark site in Tampa Bay, but only as part of a process that considers every ballpark site in Tampa Bay.”
- “Our ability to compete and, quite frankly, to survive rests on our ability to attract people and businesses to our ballpark. Our customers are our fans. And like any other business, we need to be in a location that is convenient for our fans to reach us.”
- “Baseball in the Tampa Bay area does not belong to Stu Sternberg, just as it doesn’t belong to St. Petersburg or Tampa, Pinellas or Hillsborough. It is a regional asset. It belongs to our fans throughout the region. For this asset to be preserved, a comprehensive process to explore a new ballpark must begin. That process needs to consider all possible locations throughout Tampa Bay – meaning Tampa and Hillsborough as well.”
While Sternberg did not come out and say “we’re moving to Tampa,” that is certainly the tone of his comments.