Sternberg: ABC stadium report was right on
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg continues to maintain relative silence in the discussion over a new stadium, but did say Tuesday he agrees with most of the findings of the ABC coalition report.
Asked if that included the inclusion of two Hillsborough County sites among three possible new homes, Sternberg said: “I didn’t disagree with much of what they said in the report.’’
Sternberg said he plans to remain patient with the process, saying “I don’t expect to be mouthing off or anything. We’ll take it day by day.’’ He also said he was not involved in any behind the scenes efforts.
Of the report overall, he said: “I think the ABC group did everything I could have hoped and wanted to have happened. They took a long time, a thoughtful time. It was a great process run by the business leaders and community leaders throughout the area, and the expected outcome of what they said was what I expected to hear. It doesn’t mean you can snap your fingers and have it happen. But at the very least it advanced the conversation and will be something of a touchstone to point to because I wouldn’t disagree with the outcome of what they came up. Not to say I agree with everything but I think they did a great job and it’s a great starting point.’’
Sternberg also talked about attendance, saying he was taking a "more realistic" approach after falling well short of his goal of reaching the major-league average last year, and won't set a target for this season.
He said season ticket sales were "bad/not good" and, while not providing numbers, that the decrease from last season to this year was "a reasonable amount, more than they should be.''
He said "some of it is to be expected. Because of the euphoria of '08 we would have liked more of '08 to stick into '09, and what grew into '09 didn't stick into 2010 to the level we would have expected.''