Bud Selig Still Believes Tampa Area Can Be Viable MLB Market
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).