While Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Seilg reiterated his point that the Rays need a new stadium, he showed optimism for the team’s long-term future after recent conversations with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. He said he was willing to leave the matter of a new stadium to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and even said there could be a breakthrough regarding the stadium before he steps down in January.
Selig, 79, is set to retire at the turn of the new year and the Rays stadium issue is just about the only thing unresolved in his tenure as commissioner. It seems like people have been debating this forever.
“It’s obvious they need a new stadium,” Selig said in his annual All-Star media session per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s no secret. … All you have to do is look at the daily attendance figures, the attendance figure to date this year, and you can see what they need.”
Talking to the poor average attendance at a Rays game, Selig said “The demographics in the market are good, I have no question about that.”
He was also questioned whether he believes that baseball will work in the Tampa market. “I’m sure it can, but talk to Stu Sternberg,” he replied to the Times.
“I have a lot of faith in Stu Sternberg,” Selig said. “He’s very smart, and he knows what he has to do there. He’s talking to a lot of people, and he keeps me briefed on exactly what’s going on. Look, there are some problems that take longer to solve than others. But I do have a lot of faith in him and that organization. Hopefully, before I leave office, there’ll be a conversation on all of this.”