Sternberg: Plan not a ploy to leave town
It's been one of the good conspiracy theories floating around the Internet: The Tampa Bay Rays' plan to build a new $450-million waterfront stadium is all a ploy to skip town. Once the voters turn the team down, the story goes, the Rays will have all the ammunition they need to head for Tampa, Orlando or points elsewhere. We put the question to Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg when we caught him on the phone today.
"It’s not the case. And I think, given the amount of time, energy, effort, resources, money and everything else, it would be pretty Machiavellian of us," Sternberg said.
Sternberg also addressed concerns that for months the stadium planning process was kept secret.
"I understand the concerns on how things were going on behind the scenes," Sternberg said. "But if some of this groundwork wasn’t done, we’d be sitting here now with a bunch of big question marks and no answers. The last thing I want to say is 'I don’t know' and then go ahead and put forth a $1-billion plan."
- Aaron Sharockman, Times Staff Writer