MLB commissioner says ‘time has come’ for Rays stadium answer

NEW YORK – Main League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred did not fairly begin the clock on decision of the Rays’ ongoing pursuit of a brand new stadium within the Tampa Bay space earlier than contemplating relocation choices, however he seems to be at the very least checking the batteries.

“I believe there may be an urgency with respect to Tampa Bay,” Manfred stated Thursday on the conclusion of the quarterly homeowners conferences. “I’ve stated this earlier than and I’m going to say it once more, there must be a decision within the Tampa Bay area for the Rays. Clearly, the tip of that lease (at Tropicana Subject after the 2027 season) is a tough deadline. However it’s good to take into consideration that stadiums take a little bit little bit of time to construct, proper?

“So we’re attending to the purpose the place, wherever it’s within the area that has an curiosity in having 162 baseball video games, they should get to it. Get with the membership. I do know the Rays are anxious to get one thing completed. And see if a deal will be made. ”

After the league in January killed the Rays’ plans to pursue splitting seasons between new stadiums in Tampa Bay and Montreal, group and staff leaders stated they’d resume conversations about discovering a full-season house out there.

5 months’ time has not yielded any obvious vital progress, although St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch is pushing for the staff to determine which facet of the bay it desires to be on by June 30.

“We stay optimistic about reaching a cope with the Tampa Bay Rays relating to their future in St. Petersburg, ”Welch stated Thursday. “We’ve renewed town’s relationship with staff leaders and have had a number of productive conversations.”

Rays principal proprietor Stuart Sternberg didn’t present a lot perception into what stage the talks have been in.

“We’ve been and proceed to work onerous to maintain baseball in Tampa Bay,” he stated by way of electronic mail. “We converse frequently with Mayor Welch and recognize his deal with conserving the Rays in St. Petersburg. ”

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor declined remark via a spokesperson.

Manfred stated the main target stays on discovering an answer within the Tampa Bay market however acknowledged that sooner or later relocation will likely be thought of.

“Proper now, I am centered on Tampa Bay,” he stated. “I believe a terrific man as soon as stated all good issues should finish sooner or later. Proper now, we’re centered on Tampa Bay. ”

The Rays have been in search of a brand new stadium since 2007, pursuing choices in each St. Petersburg and Tampa with out having the ability to get a deal consummated.

The A’s are additionally years deep right into a seek for a brand new house. Whereas the staff continues to be speaking to Oakland, staff officers have been given permission to pursue an alternate choice in Las Vegas, which Manfred stated is a market MLB likes.

“(Oakland is) in the identical class as Tampa Bay,” Manfred stated. “We want an answer in each these markets. And the time has come for that answer. ”

Need extra than simply the field rating?

Subscribe to our free Rays Report e-newsletter

Columnist John Romano will ship the most recent Rays insights and evaluation to maintain you up to date weekly in the course of the season.

You are all signed up!

Need extra of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get began.

Discover all of your choices

Manfred has stated beforehand that MLB wouldn’t think about enlargement, and attending to extra workable 32 groups, till after the Rays and A’s stadium conditions are resolved. That is smart, as a relocation of 1 or each groups would come with a few of the markets that will be thought of for enlargement groups.

Additionally Thursday:

• Manfred stated he was “inspired by the outcomes” of utilizing the pitch clock within the minor leagues however would enable the newly created competitors committee (which incorporates gamers) to debate that and an anticipated restrict on defensive shifting for subsequent season, with hopes for a decision earlier than spring coaching. He additionally stated the usage of the automated strike zone shouldn’t be being mentioned for subsequent season.

• Homeowners are involved about “the attain” of native media choices, and Manfred stated there was a dialogue that MLB “ought to step into the digital house specifically to offer followers with better and extra versatile alternatives to observe video games.” Doing in order direct-to-consumer streaming might battle with a few of the regional sports activities networks, corresponding to Bally Sports activities, which reveals the Rays and is planning to launch the same service as quickly as this month.

Employees writers Colleen Wright and Charlie Frago contributed to this story.

• • •

Join the Rays Report weekly e-newsletter to get contemporary views on the Tampa Bay Rays and the remainder of the majors from sports activities columnist John Romano.

By no means miss out on the most recent with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida school sports activities and extra. Comply with our Tampa Bay Occasions sports activities staff on Twitter and Fb.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: