Joe Maddon and Stuart SternbergStuart Sternberg was in attendance on opening day and, of course, the subject of a new stadium came up.

“Progress isn’t going to happen with one meeting or another…It’s going to happen with like minds coming together and figuring out what’s best for the citizens of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay and Florida in general. I do think things will happen. We’ve been at this seven years, with a few different mayors. I feel most confident in what the mayor has done so far and I think the city is poised for some incredible things…The clock is ticking and it’s loudly ticking, but it has been ticking loudly for a few years. Every day that goes by is another day closer to when a decision will have to be made.’’

This comes on the heels of the recent surge in talk saying MLB should move back to Montreal.

The real question is what is the clock ticking towards? It is not ticking towards 2027, which is the end of the Rays’ use-agreement with the city of St. Pete, and it is not ticking towards the end of this season.

So it is ticking towards something in between.

The most likely answer is that the clock is ticking towards 2016, which is the end of the Rays’ current television deal.

Chances are the Rays will want to know their future before starting a new TV deal in 2017. That means plans for a new stadium will need to be in place by 2016, whether that it is in the Bay Area or some place else.

That also means we may go another 1-2 years before things really start to heat up. At that point, the price on a buyout will start to dwindle and we may start to hear some serious overtures from other cities as they scramble to see if they can come up with money to build their own stadiums to lure the Rays.

When that happens, the governments in Tampa, St. Pete, and Tallahassee will start to take this seriously, but not before then.

In the meantime, all we can do is sit back and wait.

 
 

12 Comments

  1. Lane Meyer says:

    You really know how to bring everyone down after a great opening day.

  2. JMN says:

    Really? On opening day. Couldn’t just let everyone enjoy the game of baseball and not the politics. Bad timing.

  3. Amanda says:

    And don’t forget … Charlotte, N.C., just built a downtown Triple-A stadium for the Knights for this season. I don’t want my Rays up here. :(

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      On the contrary. The building of that AAA stadium all but assures us that Charlotte will not be in the hunt for a major league team.

    • Mark says:

      Not to mention the Braves would NEVER let that happen especially after deciding to build a stadium on the north side of Atlanta making a weekend trip down from NC to catch a series much easier.

  4. Sean says:

    At this point I don’t want to hear any more about this until actual things start happening. There’s nothing I can do as a Hillsborough resident.

  5. ken says:

    Montreal is but a mere pawn in the Rays stadium discussions. I attended many games at le parc de Jarry in the mid-seventies when I was a Mets fan. Average attendance was about 12,000 per game. Montreal will never support a MLB team. It’s a bilingual city and the Quebecois population still has an anti USA attitude and an incredibly strong allegiance to the beloved Canadians. Factor in the strong bias it’s citizens hold for Hispanic people and you have a lose/lose situation.
    Sternberg should stop stating the obvious and start seriously working with the MLB, state and local officials to get this done. Roll your sleeves up Stu and stop being so theatrical.

    • Greg says:

      You’ve nailed the whole problem with going back to Montreal. Nicely stated. This isn’t happening. As a Jacksonville resident, I’m especially frustrated because I’m not close enough to make a difference but never miss a game on tv. I just don’t think the gate receipts are that important anymore. Baseball has so many different sources of income and the Rays (and A’s) have shown they can compete with a lower payroll.

  6. Kyle says:

    You’re better than this Cork.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Better than what exactly? I didn’t ask the question. Sternberg made the comment. I interpreted his answer. Was I supposed to ignore it? The stadium issue is a kind of a big deal.

  7. Bobby Fenton says:

    Seriously, all of you Pollyannas whose delicate little ears are so offended at the thought of anything non-baseball are free to click on other articles. It says this is a stadium-related article right in the headline. Don’t click on it if you’re so bothered by it, although I have no idea why the thought of anything new-stadium related is such a black mark.

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