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Rays officials: MLB has lost faith in Tampa Bay

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08:08 AM ET 01.25 | Is Major League Baseball not long for Tampa Bay? [Rays] owner Stuart Sternberg, angling for a new stadium, said Thursday he wants to keep his team in the region, but "Major League Baseball at this point no longer believes in the Tampa Bay area." Five years of winning baseball, coupled with poor attendance, have taken a toll on his fellow owners, Sternberg said. Even with a healthy media market, the Rays still drain tens of millions of dollars a year from baseball's revenue-sharing pot. "That gap is growing," Sternberg told the Hillsborough County Commission. "Put yourself in their place. They look at the success, we have an exciting team, and then they see where the gate is. They don't care whether it's Clearwater, St. Petersburg or Tampa."

Tampa Bay Times

Evan Longoria, Icon Sports Evan Longoria, Icon Sports
January 25, 2013  08:58 AM ET

It's been obvious for some time that Tampa is not going to support a baseball team.

January 25, 2013  09:20 AM ET

They're stuck with that Tropicana Field lease for another 14 yrs.

January 25, 2013  09:22 AM ET

Worst stadium and worst stadium location in MLB. I wouldnt want to go to that dump either.

Comment #4 has been removed
January 25, 2013  10:04 AM ET

It's very depressing but unfortunately accurate. And by resigning Luke Scott to DH, I think the Rays have written off the season. This year's offense is worse than last years.

January 25, 2013  10:12 AM ET

I hate to say it but I think most of us figured eventually it would come to this. Florida does not seem to support the Rays and it's probably for several reasons. Dome stadiums suck. Stadium is in a poor location. Floridians can enjoy spring training in comfortable weather. It's too darn hot to sit in the Florida Sun for three plus hours to watch a game in the middle of summer without a dome stadium. The organization and team are strong and if you put that team in another spot they could thrive.

January 25, 2013  10:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

It's very depressing but unfortunately accurate. And by resigning Luke Scott to DH, I think the Rays have written off the season. This year's offense is worse than last years.

That's unfortunate moose.

January 25, 2013  10:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I hate to say it but I think most of us figured eventually it would come to this. Florida does not seem to support the Rays and it's probably for several reasons. Dome stadiums suck. Stadium is in a poor location. Floridians can enjoy spring training in comfortable weather. It's too darn hot to sit in the Florida Sun for three plus hours to watch a game in the middle of summer without a dome stadium. The organization and team are strong and if you put that team in another spot they could thrive.

I could rattle off a list of reasons but I'm tired of doing that. The Marlins have pretty much poisoned the well for getting public help with a new stadium. The thing is, where would you move them too? All the major markets have teams.

January 25, 2013  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

That's unfortunate moose.

Yes it is.

<heavy sigh>

Comment #10 has been removed
January 25, 2013  10:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Yes it is. <heavy sigh>

I feel your pain...... (at least some of it).....

January 25, 2013  10:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Also too many transplants living in Flordia who are rooting for other teams. We're talking from all over the country. It critically dilutes the blood of the fanbase.

Yup. The people who have grown up rooting for the Rays aren't old enough to drive yet. It takes years to build a tradition of rooting for a team.

January 25, 2013  10:46 AM ET

"Only 600,000 people live within a 30 minute drive of the Trop, lowest among all major league teams and lower than eight minor league teams. "....

They just learned this fact? It was a bad idea from the beginning by MLB. Just where did they think fans at home games were going to come from?

January 25, 2013  11:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Also too many transplants living in Flordia who are rooting for other teams. We're talking from all over the country. It critically dilutes the blood of the fanbase.

This is true. When the Yankees and Red Sox come to town at least half the fans in attendance at the Trop root for those teams.

January 25, 2013  11:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

They're stuck with that Tropicana Field lease for another 14 yrs.

the rays always can void that contract,,, and why not? when the tropicana / in tampa bay city do not support them at all,,,

January 25, 2013  11:39 AM ET

Playing summer baseball in Florida makes about as much sense as playing hockey there. The only solution for these teams is to have concession stands featuring all you can eat buffets.

January 25, 2013  11:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

That's unfortunate moose.

tough luck when you will lose before you win,,,but in this case the problem its not the team, its the tropicana field fan acces towards the stadium, few fans and there its a bottle road traffic??
everything works against the poor rays!!!

January 25, 2013  12:09 PM ET

They would have to move to Orlando if they are defining region as Florida. If they are considering a move entirely and assuming they want to keep the team in The AL East so they don't disrupt the new alignment, Charlotte would probably be the front runner.

January 25, 2013  12:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I could rattle off a list of reasons but I'm tired of doing that. The Marlins have pretty much poisoned the well for getting public help with a new stadium. The thing is, where would you move them too? All the major markets have teams.

It doesn't have to be a major market. Just need to find a city that's dying for a pro sports team. Similar to how the Sonics/Thunder moved to OKC and now they sell out every night. Florida is just not a great locale for a pro sports team since most of its inhabitants are from somewhere else.

 
January 25, 2013  12:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I could rattle off a list of reasons but I'm tired of doing that. The Marlins have pretty much poisoned the well for getting public help with a new stadium. The thing is, where would you move them too? All the major markets have teams.

That's a good question Moose.

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