Fire up the rumor mills: The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that team owner Stuart Sternberg will “make an important announcement regarding the future of the Rays franchise” today at 12:15 pm. (Weird time, but maybe he doesn’t want to miss the end of the big Chile-Switzerland match.) Which has the St. Petersburg Times, among others, speculating that Sternberg will “finally expound on the team’s position on a new stadium.”
Of course, Sternberg’s position on a new stadium has been pretty clear for a while now: He wants one, but doesn’t want to pay for it. Presumably what the Times is hoping is that Sternberg will say he’s picked a site from among Tampa, St. Pete, and northern Pinellas County, all of which have seen stadium plans of varying degrees of bakedness emerge in recent months.
It would certainly make some sense for Sternberg to declare that he’s looking to negotiate with St. Petersburg for now, given that the city is apparently going to threaten lawsuits against any other cities that try to lure the Rays to break their lease before it expires in 2027. If talks end up going nowhere, as they did last time, then Tampa and Pinellas will still be there as fallback options, with a couple more years off the clock until the remaining part of their existing lease is short enough to be affordably bought out.
Or Sternberg could be announcing something else entirely. Best guess among the commenters on the Times site: “They are going to announce that they will now host the Yankees and Red Sox 81 times so that people will actually show up.”