During the owner’s meetings in Cooperstown, NY, Stu Sternberg commented that Rays stadium discussions have come to a boiling point and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig declined to say whether or not relocation was on the table.
Eric Fisher from Sports Business Journal joined Booger McFarland and guest host Justin Pawlowski to discuss the comments between the commissioner and Stu Sternberg.
Fisher described the Rays situation as same old same old. He said that the Rays are competitive again and the league is running out of patience with their stadium situation. Fisher says the league has come out and said that they will take a more direct role in getting the stadium situation on track.
Fisher says the main issue is that the Rays and Stu Sternberg haven’t been able to talk to other areas outside of St. Petersburg for fear of being sued by the city. Fisher says MLB will bring more money and legal help to Sternberg to get the ball rolling on a new stadium.
There is fear that the Rays could eventually be moved if there isn’t a new stadium built, but Fisher says that Rays fans shouldn’t have to hold their breath and even described the recent move by MLB as good news for the Tampa Bay area. There will simply be more activity and involvement by MLB in the matter.
“Sooner or later, the city of St. Pete will have to realize the ship has kind of sailed here,” Fisher said. Fisher said traffic patterns and population density just won’t support the team until 2027 in the St. Petersburg area.
Today MLB also gave managers challenges on calls that can be replayed during a game. Fisher said he was surprised MLB went with a challenge format like football but it will be interesting to see how it will play out.