This morning St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster and Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg sat down with each other to determine the Rays future plans, as for whether or not the Rays will continue play in St. Petersburg.
Following the meeting Sternberg scheduled a press conference and stated he wants to explore all potential options for a new ballpark within the Tampa Bay region.”When I assumed control of the Rays almost five years ago, it was commonly assumed that winning would change everything at Tropicana Field,” Sternberg said. “Everyone believed that with a winning team on the field, fans would fill the stands. That has not been the case.”
Sternberg believes baseball can thrive in the Tampa area and I feel this is a huge step forward by acknowledging that a new site is needed to bring success and generate revenue for a competitive Rays team. Not only will it genereate greater revenue but will also bring in “big time” free agents as well. Who really wants to play in a subpar stadium like Tropicana Field? Not many im sure.
There will be some legal issues with this matter as the Rays have a contract with Tropicana Field til 2027. Rays Officials are not allowed to talk to other parties about a new ballpark and cannot initiate or conduct any agreements for the use of any other facilities except for Tropicana Field. I would have to imagine Sternburg knows all about this and has people ready in place to make the neccessary moves with any legal issues of this matter.
In reality, its going to take at least a few years to come up with a location and for a new stadium to be built, but the important fact of this press conferenece is Sternburg believes the Tampa Bay region can support a competitive baseball team. The adjacent counties need to work together and resolve this issue going forward. No matter where the Rays end up playing, it will be profitable for all surrounding counties.