Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 10/29/14

We’ve heard Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg make subtle remarks in the past regarding the team’s stadium/location debate. From the attendance to moving the team across the bay, all topics in that range have been addressed. In his latest discussion with the media, Sternberg spoke to Fox Sports about the team’s future. This time around, he provided detailed insight on discussions and thoughts that have taken place regarding the Rays. Sternberg was asked if he would eventually sell the team if they did not get a new stadium. He did not say no. Eventually, yeah. I would suppose so. But if that happens, by doing that, I could be ensuring baseball is there anyhow. The other side is, in fairness, we receive a lot of revenue-sharing money each year. It should be expected from other owners, if (we) put a winning product on the field, get to the playoffs and World Series, (they) shouldn’t have to share much money with (us) for the next couple years. I think ours is the only franchise — maybe I’m mistaken — that has been to the World Series (recently) and we still had to take a lot of money in revenue sharing. The fact that all the other owners are consistently writing checks to us and see no way to get out of it, some of this will be their desires. … The decision can be taken out of my hands at some point. If you haven’t made any progress, and it’s not working where you are, (MLB could say), ‘We’re going to duke it out. This team is going to be somewhere else, whether it’s 10 miles away or 510 miles away.’ Sternberg also stated he would not move the Rays if it was on his watch.  It’s very unrealistic. If it’s up to me, it’s very unrealistic. There’s certainly been a lot of discussion, from others within baseball, that we should get the hell out of there. It’s not in my makeup to do that. I am committed to doing whatever I can, until I can no longer do it, to make it work there. Sternberg and the Rays have done everything possible to make things work in the area and the fans are still not showing up. For whatever the reasons are, it has not met the ownership group’s expectations and Sternberg appears to have placed some form of a soft timeline on getting a deal done for a stadium and a new location. You’ve got to figure out the proper location, whether it’s 10 yards from where we’re playing or 30 miles. Then you have to figure out if it’s feasible. Then you have to go through the approvals and everything else. Even if you have a location, just to get that OK’d takes years. Then it takes years to actually build the thing. At some point in the next few years, we’ve got to have it figured out. And so it begins. The pressure appears to be applied by Rays ownership. In the coming years, if an agreement has not been reached on a new location and/or stadium, we can all expect a potential sale or perhaps a relocation out of the area. (To read more about Sternberg’s comments to Fox Sports on the team including David Price and Evan Longoria, click here.)

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