Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Selig reasserts Rays' need for new stadium

NEW YORK — The Rays have had their turn at the top of the major-league standings this season. Tuesday, commissioner Bud Selig indicated they are at the top of MLB's list of stadium concerns.

Selig said there are three teams that must have new stadiums. He said that in the case of two, the Florida Marlins and Oakland A's, there has been concrete progress and "we appear to have solved it."

But as for the Rays?

He offered only vague confidence they will figure something out.

"I think in the third one we will," Selig said. "I have confidence in the Rays ownership that they will solve it."

Meeting with members of the Baseball Writers Association of America before the All-Star Game, Selig reiterated his claim that the Rays need to replace Tropicana Field primarily as a matter of economics.

"They need a new stadium," he said. "You can't compete with other people who have ultimate sources of revenues that you don't have and never will have, and then expect to be competitive on the field.

"I've sort of never understood why some people just don't understand that because I think the evidence is so clear. You can't change local media (revenues from radio and TV rights) because that's a product of demographics, and there's other things you can't change sometimes.

"But in attendance the one thing you can do is build a ballpark that produces competitive revenues. They're not in a ballpark right now that produces competitive revenues. So the answer to your question is that it's very important."

The Rays announced last month they had tabled plans for a new stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront and would await recommendations of a communitywide committee. MLB president Bob DuPuy said league officials were "obviously disappointed when a plan gets derailed or shortened because it's clear that a stadium is necessary."

Selig said he has talked to principal owner Stuart Sternberg about it, that "they are handling it the way they feel they should" and was "confident that they're on the right track."

The Rays have a lease at the Trop through 2027 and are expected to first consider other sites in St. Petersburg. But when asked if relocation would be an option for any of the three teams if they don't get stadiums, Selig said: "I don't think we'll have to get to that."

Selig said he was pleased with the Rays' nearly 40 percent increase in attendance, to an average of 21,062, though still second to last in the American League and 27th in the majors.

"I think they've had a very, very positive gain on attendance, I don't think there's any question about it," Selig said. "Look, you don't gain everything back in one year. The lag theory always says it comes the next year, or sometimes even longer than that in some cases.

"They've had a remarkable season — until the last week — and hopefully they will continue to, and I think their attendance has been quite remarkable, given where they had been for years. So it's going to take time, I think, but overall it's very, very satisfactory."

Selig reasserts Rays' need for new stadium 07/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 21, 2008 5:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Jameis Winston to test hurt shoulder in practice Friday

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Bucs QB Jameis Winston still wasn't throwing at practice Thursday, but he'll test his injured shoulder today as Tampa Bay keeps its options open for Sunday's game at Buffalo.

    Defensive end Robert Ayers, who played against the Cardinals on Sunday, is on the injury report with a knee issue. He was limited in practice.
  2. Durant's Cameron Myers now one of the state's elite RBs

    Footballpreps

    There will come a day when Cameron Myers is stopped, when opposing defenders gang up to prevent him from breaking off big gains.

    Durant senior Cameron Myers recently set a career high in rushing yards — tallying a whopping 393 last week vs. Plant City.
  3. Check out what this former Buc has cooking in Buffalo

    Bucs

    Leonard Johnson is thrilled to extend his NFL career in Buffalo this season, but whenever his playing days are over, the former Bucs cornerback is ready for life after football.

    He's actually pretty excited.

    Buffalo Bills cornerback Leonard Johnson catches a pass during an NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Saturday, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
  4. Koetter: Jameis Winston will test shoulder in practice Friday

    Blogs

    Will he? Won't he? It appears the Bucs' uncertainty over whether quarterback Jameis Winston can play through a shoulder injury Sunday at Buffalo will carry up until the final hours before kickoff.

    Jameis Winston didn't throw at practice Wednesday.
  5. Fennelly: Even frustrated Bucs fans hold out hope

    Blogs

    Many fans wrote back when I threw out an all-points the other day, asking if Bucs fans are perpetually in a state of expecting the worst.

    Bucs fans cheer during a preseason game against the Washington Redskins in August at Raymond James Stadium.