SBD/July 16, 2014/Facilities

Selig Leaves Rays' Ballpark Talks To Sternberg, Hopes For Resolution Before Leaving Office

Selig wouldn't say whether he thinks the Rays should move from St. Petersburg to Tampa
Rays Owner Stu Sternberg said that recent conversations with new St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman have left him "optimistic and hopeful of a long-term solution" for the franchise's ballpark situation, according to Marc Topkin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig yesterday "reiterated the team's need for a new stadium but also expressed some faith in the Tampa Bay market." Selig said that he was "willing to leave the matter in the hands" of Sternberg and suggested that there could be a "breakthrough before he leaves office in January." Sternberg in an e-mail wrote, "Bud is aware of my optimism, which has come out of the chats with Mayor Kriseman. I continue to believe that the civic, business and political leaders in the city as well as the region will do their best to ensure that Rays baseball is here for generations to come." Selig said that he had an opinion on whether the Rays "would be better off seeking a new stadium in Tampa but would not share it." Selig: "That's a local club's decision, (Sternberg) knows the market" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 7/16). Selig said, “It’s obvious they need a new stadium. It’s no secret. All you have to do is look at the daily attendance figures, the attendance figure to date this year … and you can see what they need.” However, Selig continued to back Sternberg, and said, “He’s very smart, and he knows what he has to do there. He’s talking to a lot of people, and he keeps me briefed on what’s going on. Look, there are some problems that take longer to solve than others. But I do have a lot of faith in him and that organization" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
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