Major League Baseball Commissioner Confident in Rays’ New Stadium
Rob Manfred believes the planned stadium will boost support for the team
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his confidence that the Tampa Bay Rays’ proposed new stadium, located near the current Tropicana Field site, will lead to increased support for the team. While Manfred had previously favored a Tampa site, he acknowledged that location was not the only factor in the decision-making process. In a recent Sirius XM radio interview, he stated his trust in Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg’s choice to strike a deal in St. Petersburg.
“I think Stu Sternberg is a very, very good businessman,” Manfred said during the World Series. “They’ve done a great job putting a great product on the field. He’s studied the situation down there. I understand the debate about Tampa and St. Pete, which side. St. Pete today is different than it was five years ago. And I really believe that if Stu’s prepared to commit to the deal in St. Pete, it’s going to be a good deal for baseball.”
When asked about the team’s low attendance, particularly during the two wild-card playoff games with midweek afternoon starts, Manfred pointed out that the new stadium’s inclusion in the massive redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District should help generate enthusiasm and increase fandom in the Tampa-St. Pete region.
“I think there is enthusiasm for baseball in the Tampa-St. Pete region,” Manfred stated. “A lot of things go into the situation as it exists in St. Pete right now. It is an older facility. They have been in the playoffs a lot. You have different factors that kind of weigh in a particular year. I think this development will generate excitement and will increase fandom in the Tampa-St. Pete region.”
With the Rays’ new stadium on the horizon, there is hope for a revitalized fan base and increased support for the team. The development is expected to bring a fresh wave of excitement to the Tampa-St. Pete region, creating a positive impact on baseball in the area.