But Golenbock goes where few have gone before - suggesting Rays owner Stu Sternberg could turn things around simply by moving (at least part-time) to St. Pete. An excerpt:
Stu is rightly viewed as a haughty absentee landlord, unlike Jeff Vinik and Bill Edwards, the owners of the Lightning and the Rowdies, who have invested heavily in their communities, not only with money but with their hearts and souls. Vinik is building a multi-million-dollar complex near Amalie Arena. Edwards has rented Al Lang Stadium and has spent millions fixing it up for soccer. He has even bought a sports bar up the street from Al Lang where Rowdies fans can congregate before and after the games. Compared to the millions Sternberg has spent to fix up the once-dingy Trop, it’s small potatoes, but Vinik and Edwards have spent their money on making their customers happy, and their customers are buying tickets and supporting their teams.Interesting piece. But didn't he mean, "long time" instead of "big time?"
To my mind, Stu Sternberg can make baseball successful in Tampa Bay all by himself, but he has to show his fans that he cares about us.
Rent an apartment in St. Pete. Come to games at the Trop, shake hands with the fans and tell them how much you love them. (For almost ten years all we’ve heard is that you’re unhappy with us and the attendance. How’s that working out for you?)
Yes, we know you're pissed because St. Pete didn’t buy the new open-air stadium at the old Al Lang Stadium. Get over it.
Show us a little love, Stu. That’s all you have to do, and if you can do that as this team of talented youngsters develops and grows, so will the attendance. By leaps and bounds. We’ll buy your beer, park in your parking lot, and even build a statue of you near the rotunda.
What do you say, Stu? Give us a little love, big guy.
Do that, and I promise we’ll love you back big time.
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