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Volume 26 No. 64
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Bud Selig Still Believes Tampa Area Can Be Viable MLB Market

Persistent attendance issues have some wondering whether Tampa is still a good MLB market
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig said that despite ongoing attendance problems for the Rays, it is "too soon to write off" Tampa as a MLB market, according to John Romano of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Selig said he "wouldn’t use the term failure" in describing the Tampa market. Selig: "I did award the franchise and I guess it’s disappointing to some extent and puzzling because the demographics in Tampa are damn good. But I’m not yet ready to call it a mistake, absolutely not." He "declined to say whether relocation should be a concern in Tampa." Selig said, "They’re doing so well on the field and I hope maybe that will translate to something else. Hopefully that problem will get solved." He added, "It’s one of the things I always felt badly about because I left not having solved that problem" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/19). Meanwhile, in Tampa, Marc Topkin noted Rays Principal Owner Stu Sternberg recently "bought a home in St. Petersburg and plans to spend more time in the area." The purchase "coincides with the increased focus and urgency on resolving the search" for a new Rays ballpark site and "other business matters involving the team" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/16).