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MLB Commisioner Bud Selig to intervene on Rays new stadium

11:41 PM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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An aerial view of Tropicana Field

St. Petersburg, Florida -- The latest stone in the battle for a Rays' new stadium has been cast by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. 

At the owners' meetings in Cooperstown, New York, Selig commented on the status of the Rays' current contract with the City of St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field.

USA TODAY's national baseball columnist Bob Nightengale posted on Twitter: Bud Selig says MLB now plans to intervene in #Rays stadium dispute calling it troubling.

Within the last year, Selig has become more vocal publicly about the Rays low attendance, which ranks second to last in the major leagues averaging over 18,000 a game.

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The Rays are locked into a contract with the City of St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field until 2027.

MORE: How much tax money would a Tampa Rays stadium cost?

In Cooperstown, New York, Selig told reporters at the quarterly Owners Meetings, that Rays' principal owner Stuart Sternberg delivered a "very discouraging" report on the negotiations between the Rays and the city of St. Petersburg, over a new stadium.

"We were optimistic that this was moving in a very positive direction," Selig said. "Unfortunately, we're stalled. It's serious enough that in the last 48 hours, I've given very strong consideration to assigning someone from MLB to get involved in this process and find out what the hell's going on."

Sternberg talked to reporters in a side session, after Selig addressed the media.

"The key here is to recognize that without the revenue-sharing dollars, we wouldn't even be able to complete or do what we're doing," said Sternberg.  "The other owners are looking at this and saying, 'How many years is this going to be?  How much money is this going to be to a failing situation?' "

Sternberg also admitted that there's a question of whether the Rays can survive anywhere in the Tampa Bay area.

 

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