BY: John Mamola

Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg announced on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the MLB Diversity Business Summit that the Rays are on a “full-out exploration” for a new ballpark location.  The search Sternberg said would include the city of Tampa but not be limited to it.

"Tampa is obviously very, very attractive on the list, and we expect to at some point, hopefully sooner, look there as well as some other parts of the region," said Sternberg.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined WDAE’s ‘The Sports Page’ on Tuesday morning as reacted to Sternberg’s comments with a commitment from the city of Tampa to find a way to make the Rays work in the Tampa Bay region.

“I think everyone recognizes that its not going to work in its current configuration,” said Buckhorn.  “To know that Tampa is a serious option for him (Sternberg) whether its downtown or any other location I think is good.  When that day comes this community and this region needs to be prepared to put its best minds to the task to figuring out how to make this work.”

Buckhorn mentioned that the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg market is a mid-sized market supporting three major league franchises, and there are difficulties that come with that.  The Tampa Mayor did warn that building and funding a stadium in Tampa would be a “very difficult lift” for the Tampa Bay area because of the lack of corporate presence and spending power that a major market like Chicago or Los Angeles has.

“I think it would work here (in Tampa) and I think particularly somewhere in downtown Tampa given all the development that has taken place.”








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