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Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Melanie Lenz, Tampa Bay Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Simply stated, Melanie Lenz is in charge of the Rays' future.

Lenz is working on three major endeavors: finding a site for the new stadium and securing the next TV and concession contracts.

One is daunting enough, let alone three.

How many hours a day does Lenz work?

"As many as needed, for sure," she said. "It's exciting. It's really exciting times for the organization as a whole and to be a part of some of these key strategic initiatives, it doesn't get much better."

The Rays, naturally, want to find a stadium site as soon as possible. While Lenz is contractually prohibited from discussing when the current TV deal runs out, she did say it is within the next few years. She and her staff are working on it now, because it's not the type of agreement that can be hammered out in a week or so, not with the ever-changing world of cable TV.

"(We have to make) sure that our TV product is available to as many customers as possible," Lenz said, "because there are more people who watch us on TV every night than come to the ballpark, and we cannot afford to not have our product be available to everyone."

Add the fact gate receipts (new stadium) and TV revenue make up the majority of the Rays' cash flow, and you have one challenging day of work.

"Of course," Lenz said, "that's sports, right? Sports is all about overcoming the obstacles in front of you and taking on the challenge, on the field and off the field."

. fast facts

Melanie Lenz

Age: 43

Title: Rays senior vice president, strategy & development

Education: Duquesne University (bachelor's degree); University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (master's degree in urban and regional planning).

Impact: Lenz joined the Rays in November 2006 and managed the design and construction of Charlotte Sports Park, the team's spring training and minor-league site in Port Charlotte. She oversaw the construction of the walkway in the outfield, which allows fans to move from foul pole to foul pole, and The Porch, which is the meeting place behind centerfield. Before coming to the Rays, Lenz worked for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she served as VP, real estate and development.

Did you know? Lenz serves on the board of directors of the Tampa Downtown Partnerships, the United Way of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

Family: Husband, Kurt; sons Will, 5, and Ben, 3

Most influential women in Tampa Bay sports: Melanie Lenz, Tampa Bay Rays 07/08/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 9, 2016 9:08pm]
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