SBD/January 9, 2012/Facilities

St. Pete Mayor, Rays Owner Sternberg To Discuss Ballpark Options

Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg will meet with St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster this week “to discuss the stalled stadium situation,” according to Marc Topkin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Sternberg has been hearing “a lot in recent months from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and other top officials about the likelihood of a resolution.” Sternberg: "We had to fight some things off. It was a lot to deal with, with Major League Baseball questioning how we're going about things here. Not so much running (the team), but just what the future holds. … They're wondering. How? What do we do?" With stadium issues “resolved in Miami and nearing a resolution in Oakland, baseball officials may not be as patient with the Tampa Bay situation” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/7). Sternberg said that he talked to Selig and MLB officials “about the Rays' attendance and progress on securing a new stadium.” MLB.com’s Bill Chastain noted the Rays' stadium agreement “runs through 2027 and Sternberg has stated publicly that the team cannot remain at Tropicana Field until the agreement expires.” He also has said that he “would like to be able to look outside of Pinellas County for possible future stadium sites for the team.” Foster has been “adamant that the team look exclusively in St. Petersburg” (MLB.com, 1/7). A TAMPA BAY TIMES editorial stated it is “past time for Foster and Sternberg to find a way to advance a conversation that will require plenty of public input.” The new year “offers a fresh start,” and the meeting between the two is “a hopeful sign in the stadium stalemate.” The editorial: “It's not exactly the Paris peace talks, but it's a start” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/7).
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