It’s pretty common for newspapers to run non-stories about progress in stadium campaigns, just because somebody in a position of power said, “We’re working on it,” or something equally scintillating. But this piece from the Tampa Bay Times, headlined “Selig, Sternberg to discuss stalled Rays stadium talks,” deserves some kind of award for saying absolutely nothing in the most paragraphs. Check this out:
Commissioner Bud Selig said there have been no breakthroughs in the stalled talks on the Rays stadium situation, and he plans to talk soon with principal owner Stuart Sternberg to determine the next step.
“It’s a situation that needs correction; there’s no other way to put it,” Selig said Saturday before Game 3 of the World Series. “It’s a marvelous organization, competitive every year, and to be last in attendance, you have to be concerned.
“There’s nothing startlingly new about that. It’s a problem, and we need to solve that problem.”
So… Sternberg wants a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, and he isn’t any closer to getting one, and he and Selig are going to talk about it. What does Selig plan to do, exactly?
“I don’t know — Stu and I are going to talk some more,” he said. “Let me get through the World Series.”
Does he at least have a timetable for action, like his sort-of promise to resolve the Oakland A’s stadium situation by the end of next year?
Selig announced plans to leave office in January 2015. Asked Saturday if he expected the Rays situation to be resolved by then, he replied: “I don’t know. I don’t. If I did, I wouldn’t say tonight anyway. But I don’t know.”
So basically the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin cornered Selig, and asked him some questions about a Rays stadium, and Selig shrugged a lot and looked for the exit door, and how do you make a headline out of that? “Selig, Sternberg to discuss stalled Rays stadium talks,” that’s how. Nice work if you can get it.