Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Sternberg: MLB doesn’t believe anymore in the Tampa Bay region
Posted Jan 24, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg met Thursday with the Hillsborough County Commission about his team’s future in the Tampa area and had this to say:
“Major League Baseball does not believe anymore in the Tampa Bay region, Sternberg said. “…We do think about the future. We have to take some time to plan a stadium. You don’t just snap your fingers. … We are very committed to the area. It’s a 50- to 100-year thing. I want to keep doing this and I’d like for my kids to after me.”
In response to Sternberg’s statement, Major League Baseball issued the following statement:
“The Commissioner has had conversations with Stuart Sternberg and is disappointed with the current situation in the Tampa Bay market. The status quo is simply not sustainable. The Rays have been a model organization, averaging nearly 92 wins per year since 2008 and participating in the Postseason three times, including their inaugural World Series in 2008.
“Their .565 winning percentage over the last five years is second among all American League Clubs and third in all of Major League Baseball.
“Last year, the 30 Major League Clubs averaged nearly 2.5 million in total attendance; the Rays, who finished with a 90-72 record, drew 1,559,681, which ranked last in the game.
“The Club is an eager contributor to worthy causes in the Tampa and St. Petersburg communities and takes pride in meeting the social responsibilities that come with being a Major League franchise. We are hopeful that the market will respond in kind to a Club that has done a marvelous job on and off the field.”