Sternberg Says MLB Will Soon Press Issue On New Rays Ballpark
Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg said that "it's 'imperative' that talks on a new stadium progress because Major League Baseball will soon press the issue," according to Marc Topkin of ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. Sternberg, speaking before Friday's season opener against the Orioles, said that it "wouldn't be long, perhaps within months, before MLB and commissioner Bud Selig get involved." Sternberg: "The can has been kicked down the road and the road is not much longer." St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said that the city "has no concerns about the team leaving and isn't too worried about increased threats." Foster: "The city is prepared for interference from Major League Baseball and all of the Selig tricks that have been used successfully elsewhere. We've studied it, we know it and we're prepared." Foster talked to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and indicated that it "was his impression there was 'no money' for a publicly financed stadium." Foster added that the "old model of the team, state and local governments each contributing one-third of the cost would no longer be feasible." He has agreed "only to talk about a new stadium in St. Petersburg or sites within Pinellas County, refusing to grant the Rays permission they've asked for to explore other potential sites in the Tampa Bay area." Foster did, however, "leave open the possibility that if there was no solution in Pinellas County, he could allow the Rays to look elsewhere" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/2).
PAVING THEIR WAY: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi noted the Marlins Community Foundation Paver Program gives Marlins fans a "chance to become a permanent part" of the team's new ballpark by purchasing engraved pavers. The pavers, which cost $250-400, "will be located in the ballpark’s East Plaza and seen by thousands of visitors throughout the year" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 4/2).