Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays owner: No stadium talks on our part

PORT CHARLOTTE — Principal owner Stuart Sternberg says he knows no more about any ongoing discussions to build the Tampa Bay Rays a new stadium than anyone else following recent media reports.

Sternberg said Friday he and the team were "not involved" in any of the current talks and "haven't talked to anybody."

Having tried — and failed miserably — to get a new stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront two years ago (and creating what he termed "a lot of discord in the community"), they'll wait and watch for now, he said as the team opened spring training. "When something is proposed, and there are some concepts out there and people want to move the ball forward, I'll be involved."

And then, he said, the final decision will not be the Rays' alone, but made "in concert with business leaders, community leaders and everybody else."

With St. Petersburg officials on the legal lookout after recent reports of interest from Hillsborough County parties, Sternberg's comments are sure to be watched closely.

"We have a stadium, we play in it, we've spent a ton of money putting it into the shape it's in right now, and we're enjoying our stay here and we'll let everybody else figure out what needs to be done," Sternberg said.

Asked if Hillsborough was the right choice for a new home, he replied: "We'll let everybody else figure that out."

And while he said the team is in St. Petersburg and "isn't going anywhere," he did reiterate the need for a new home — "the sooner the better" — and said of Tropicana Field: "I stated since the very first day I came in to anybody who asked, and I was asked quite often, we're not going to be there through 2027 (when the lease expires). It just can't happen. Baseball won't allow it. Our partners in baseball, the other teams, won't allow it. And it's just not the right thing for our organization and, quite frankly, it's not the right thing for the population."

He did acknowledge the conversations could be beneficial: "We're playing where we're playing, and the more talk and chatter about trying to make this team successful, the better."

Also Friday, a group seeking to drum up support for a Rays stadium in Tampa praised a separate group's study that listed downtown among the top options. has been collecting signatures for months to show support for a downtown Tampa stadium. Its statement about last month's report from the ABC Coalition, a group of business leaders formed to recommend options for the Rays' future, complimented the effort to frame the debate as a regional discussion.

"Regardless of where this stadium is ultimately constructed, it is important that those of us from Sarasota to Brooksville and all points in between engage in constructive conversations about what is best for our team and our region," the pro-downtown group said in a statement.

It went on to make the case for why a downtown Tampa location works best among five options the ABC Coalition report recommends. is not affiliated with Claire Clements, the Tampa developer who this week confirmed she created a conceptual plan for a new stadium downtown. But the group did react to some of the public dialogue that has resulted from that news, particularly the veiled threats of a lawsuit from the attorney for St. Petersburg, which has a contract with the Rays through 2027.

"Although government will be an important partner as this initiative progresses, we believe the Bay Area's corporate community needs to be the driving force behind a new stadium," it reads. "In the interest of open discussion, we ask all parties involved to refrain from threats of litigation or other punitive measures."

Times staff writer Bill Varian contributed to this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays owner: No stadium talks on our part 02/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  2. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal


    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Vincent Lecavalier makes a break for the net while playing an exhibition game on Sunday (9/24/17) with the 2017 U.S. Women???‚??„?s National Team at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000???‚??€œ2001 season and between the 2008???‚??€œ2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.