Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sternberg: Time is Ticking on Trop

Rays owner Stu Sternberg had a lot of reason to smile Monday, his team's 9-2 win over the Blue Jays not withstanding.  New Tropicana Field improvements were a hit, the team raised another banner to the roof, and Sternberg is getting along swimmingly so far with new St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman according to the Tampa Tribune:
“Progress isn’t going to happen with one meeting or another,’’ Sternberg said. “It’s going to happen with like minds coming together and figuring out what’s best for the citizens of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay and Florida in general. I do think things will happen. We’ve been at this seven years, with a few different mayors. I feel most confident in what the mayor has done so far and I think the city is poised for some incredible things.

“The clock is ticking and it’s loudly ticking, but it has been ticking loudly for a few years. Every day that goes by is another day closer to when a decision will have to be made.’’
The "clock ticking" echoes the Tampa Bay Times' Monday editorial urging the region to talk baseball money ASAP before they're spent on other quality-of-life and economic projects.  But there's also another clock ticking for the Rays.
While some public money may disappear in the next few years, the Rays are expecting a windfall of cash when they can renegotiate their TV contract in 2017.  That would certainly make it easier to pay for a new stadium with their own, private funds, right?
Sternberg rejected any notion that a new stadium would be paid entirely with private funds.
Welp, forget that.  The Rays must be hoping to get stadium financing in place BEFORE new TV money makes it harder for them to cry poor.  But at least Sternberg should be thrilled with his TV ratings, reportedly in MLB's top-10, right?
“I focus on the people who are here, not the ones who are not here, and we focus on the people who are engaged on television, on the radio, on the Internet, reading the papers, reading the blogs,’’ said Sternberg. “The TV side of it, the ratings are nothing to scoff at and it’s something that has continued to give us the belief that major-league baseball can thrive in the region."

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