“Let me be clear about my comments about Montreal,” Manfred said, “I was asked about what I thought about the exhibition games that were played in Montreal. I did not raise Montreal at all and I certainly did not raise it in the context of talking about any franchise that was trying to get a stadium deal done. I want to be clear about that. What I said about Montreal, I said as a general comment that I think it is good for the game when you have cities that don’t have baseball that demonstrate their interest in the game by doing things like selling 90,000 tickets to two exhibition games. It is an indication of the overall health of the sport. That’s all I said. Nothing more, nothing less.”Manfred's comments - which included “I think with the right facility Tampa Bay can be a vibrant major league market,” were repeated to the Tampa Bay Times as well. He added that he was "encouraged" by Rays owner Stu Sternberg's optimism about Tampa Bay.
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The Trib recap adds this Manfred quote:
“I would say a couple of things: First of all I think it is really important that Tampa Bay get a new facility. When you look around the major leagues with all the world class facilities that have been built in recent years, I think it’s really important for the Rays to get that type of facility, point one. Point two, stadium development efforts are primarily driven by the desires of local ownership, in this case, Mr. Sternberg. My conversations with Stu have left me with a firm understanding that he wants to get something done in Tampa. Tampa is where he wants to be. I’m supportive, really supportive of his efforts and will do whatever I can assist him going forward.”Same song, different verse.