Rays owner Stuart Sternberg spoke with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times this morning in the wake of the news that the team had reached a deal allowing it to search for a new stadium site in Hillsborough County. The big takeaway: he’s selling the team if he can’t get a new ballpark in the Tampa area.
Specifically, he said that if there is no new stadium in the are he won’t move team out of town, but that he would sell it and the new owner would probably move it:
“The chances of me owning this team in 2023 if we don’t have a new stadium are probably nil. Somebody else will take it and move it. It’s not a threat, just the reality. I won’t be sitting here 10 years from now waiting it out to move the team.”
Sternberg says that he still thinks baseball can work in the Tampa Bay area and that he’s going to try to make it work. But it certainly seems like he is set up to be its last chance there.