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February 16, 2011
Sternberg to Tampa Bay: I'd love to stay, I must be going
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times about his currently stalled new-stadium campaign:
At this point, a lot of people would ask "for how long?" It was a year ago when Sternberg suggested there were five markets better than this one that did not have baseball. Given that, it is easy to wonder if the Rays are closer to moving their franchise than they were then.
"Not at all," he said. "We are dead-set on making it work here. I have not been approached by any other area as far as moving the team, and I would not engage in any discussions about it."
Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, four paragraphs later:
"Every year that goes by increases the possibility that we won't be here. We can't keep kicking the can down the road. I'm not a guy who kicks the can down the road. If there is something inevitable, you have to deal with it. At some point, my partners in baseball are going to throw their hands up in the air and say 'enough is enough.'"
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Academy Award winner for Best Chutzpah.
Hey Stu? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Every state out there is going thru dire budgetary shortfalls. Anyone clearly looking at the current stadium debt and the behavior of your organization is rightly going to realize that, with your insignificant contribution to a new stadium meant to make you tons more money, the taxpayers are going to be swindled all over again. I hope you have to go groveling to all these other cities where there's no established team monopoly already in place and still get doors slammed in your face all down the line.
Enough handouts from the public trough, just so you can sell the team in 4 years for double your profit. Grow it like any other business and share in the risks. The area will survive without your benevolent friendship that costs more and more money to retain here.
If you want a new stadium, you're going to have to pull out your wallet and pay for it.
Funny, and I thought the Rays played in a stadium with a collapsed roof full of holes, flooded swamp artificial turf outfield that's snake & mosquito-ridden, no parking or any major highways or paved roads to the stadium with only a few folding chairs in the stands.
So your stadium isn't Fenway or Wrigley in a Top 10 market - get over it. Stop pestering the taxpayers just because you want a more sexy profit margin. If you don't like what you have, sell the team so it's not your problem anymore. I swear these owners are just whiny, impatient, ungrateful greedy millionaires with envy, compulsion and delusion tendencies. Yeah it's not the best situation but it could be a whole lot worse, and the Rays did go to the playoffs twice in the past 3 years.