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Selig says MLB is going to “intervene” in the Rays stadium situation

Aug 15, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

From the owners meetings in Cooperstown comes news that doesn’t have to do with instant replay:


I’m not sure what, exactly, they can do. Short of buying out the Rays’ lease anyway. Which actually may not be the worst idea if the goal is to get them into a new ballpark as soon as possible. No plan along those lines can go forward as long as the lease and the attendant threat of litigation from St. Petersburg regarding the lease is eliminated. Buying the Rays out of the lease would seem like the only way that could work.

As always, though: the devil is in the details. Not that any of those details can be much worse than the Rays playing in Tropicana Field until 2027.

  1. voteforno6 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Is MLB intervening in the same way that it’s intervened in the MASN negotiations? How ’bout the A’s stadium situation?

    • chill1184 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Why stop there, how about the continuation of Fred Wilpon and Jeffery Loria owning teams

      • neoshweaty - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        Good thing Selig and Wilpon are friends. We might actually have some respectable owners running one of the teams in a premiere market. Can’t have that shit happen.

      • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        I could see Scrooge McLoria owning a roller derby team. “Kansas City Bummers” has a nice ring to it.

      • kevinbnyc - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Yeah…but the bummers would trade away all their good talent to the Toronto Beaver Tails before they got too expensive to sign.

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        Only seriusly intrested persons required .. please
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  2. raysfan1 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Where’s the intervention for the Oakland A’s?

    A new stadium elsewhere in central FL would be great, but I don’t see it happening real soon.

    • nbjays - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      Watch out for sinkholes.

  3. holleywood9 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Love the rays. Great organization. Time to make something happen

  4. leftywildcat - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Implying intervention and actually intervening are certainly two different things, Bud. Based on the A’s to San Jose donnybrook, I’d say to the Ray’s about their stadium lease: “Good luck on that one.”

    • Cris E - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Good point: this could just be a new chip on the table for the Rays to play with in their game against the stadium authority. If might just be something to change the tone or shape of those talks, since a good shake might be helpful in finding a settlement that gets them to Brooklyn before 2018 (heh).

      • Cris E - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        To clarify, this could just be talk and no real promise of action. It’s likely, in fact.

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Now that the MLB has full subpoena power and is the new 4th branch of the U.S. Government, it’s nice to see them taking a break from the world peace effort to step in and help the little guys.

    • ltzep75 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      I’m just going to leave this here:

  6. Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Who’s responsible for signing that lease to go through 2027 anyway? 30 years is a loooong time for a lease. I don’t understand why you’d sign onto that.

    • natslady - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Nats have the same. ‘Course, we have a better stadium. But who knows if it will be “state of the art” in 2040?

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        I think it’s probably much better. That’s part of the reason why I ask, because the Trop is known for not being the nicest stadium, on top of being in a very bad location.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      It’s a 32-year lease signed by the original owners in 1995; the current ones re-signed it when they bought the team.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Also, thus far, St Pete has been adamant that they will only let the Rays out of it early in order to move to another location in St Pete.

        As for the stadium itself, no denying it is not pretty and not in a good location. It (last time I was there as I no longer live in FL) is fairly comfortable for the fans. I’ve been to about half the MLB stadia at one time or another and have definitely been in worse. It’s not a good money maker for the owners though as, in addition to poor location, there aren’t many luxury boxes either.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:31 AM

        Great question by jonny5 & great answer here, thanks raysfan1.

        I never realized that St. Pete funded the Tumulus ® OG

        If the community is still paying the bonds – the team may not leave. MLB should ‘intervene’ in the form of fining Scrooge McLoria excessively for violating minimum team salary requirements and awarding it to the best team in Florida as a down payment on a real stadium.

      • dan1111 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        @moses, actually it is much dumber than St. Petersburg simply funding the Rays’ stadium. The city built the stadium in that late 80s simply in hopes of attracting a baseball team, and it sat there for years before finally getting a team.

        I don’t think the Rays owe anything to the city; they did St. Pete a favor by moving into that boondoggle of a stadium.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        Dan is correct; the building was constructed with a “build it and they will come” mentality. It used to also be the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL and the Storm of the Arena Football League. It’s also why the stadium was a little dated in terms of things like luxury seating even 15 years ago. Because of how it’s constructed, any “fix” would be very expensive, better to just build a new place.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Read Jonah Keri’s book, the Extra 2% when you have a few free days. It’s really good, and gives a ton of background information on the Rays. It also helps develop a pattern re: MLB owners, and by extension Bud Selig, like how they make promises they can’t deliver on and how the owners can be really shady.

      Long story short, MLB promised TB a new team and screwed them over during the first wave of expansions. Then Naimoli (original Rays owner) was in line to get the Giants, but that fell through. Then they were supposed to get the Pale Hose until some political chicanery happened. All the while a stadium was built with no team. When MLB expanded again, TB finally got the Rays.

      You also get to learn about how great of a guy Naimoli was. From asking a local HS band to do the Star Spangled Banner, and asking the band to buy their own tickets. Not having a TB based email address for his employees, so they were forced to use personal ones. Throwing out, and subsequently banning people, from bringing their own food into the stadium. And lots of other wonderful nuggets.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        So in other words Naimoli knew he would eventually (sooner rather than later) sell the franchise and not have to worry about things like “How long is this lease anyway?”. One interesting thing about Naimoli (Jersey native.) He’s handed out many millions of dollars to charities, so although he does come off cheap when it comes to running a baseball team. The man has proven in other ways that he’s no Scrooge at all.

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        Great Book, although it doesn’t pretain to this discussion. How the Rays had a scout demanding the Ray’s draft and sign Pujols….but no one listened.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on some property in Dublin so he could supply the world with a delicious stout.

      That lease worked out just fine.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Well THAT I get. No really, I do. Guinness makes a damn fine stout.

      • cackalackyank - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Yeah I heard somewhere it was ‘BRILLIANT’!

  7. heyblueyoustink - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    ” Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.”

    That is what I think of when it comes to Selig anymore.

  8. bucsraysbolts - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Just ask Miami how that new stadium is doing for their attendance and how much of the local tax money was used to build it…

    • cubfan531 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      That’s not a fair comparison. There’s indy ball teams charging $5 to get in that are far better run than the Marlins. Could probably win a 7 game series against the fish, too.

    • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Everyone knows the answers to those questions already, except maybe for Jimmytheloriagull, who lives in his own fantasy world of denial and irrelevance. It’s just that locally, once the magnitude of the Scrooge-and-Chihuahua ripoff became apparent, everyone stopped trying to wrap their minds around the sheer monstrousness of the long-term bond interest payments. Loria, the Chihuahua, Bud Light and everyone on the Macondo city and county commissions ought to be hanged together in public, and we ought to bring back lemonade and hot dog sales for the occasion.

      • jwbiii - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Nice idea, but they’d screw that up, too. Probably run out of hot dogs, too.

  9. georgewashingtonsghost - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Here’s my prediction of how Bud Selig handles this:
    “The stadium issue in Tampa is quite troubling. It’s time MLB intervened. Therefore, at some point in the future I will appoint a committee to study this issue. The committee will be required to report their findings no later than 2025 at which time MLB will map out an appropriate course of action. We here at MLB remain committed to helping to ensure the well being of (almost) all our organizations. Tampa/St. Pete, you’re now on the clock.”

  10. turdfurgerson68 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    The Trop is a great place to watch a game…a veritable home away from home.


    Boston Red Sox fan(s)

  11. sbmcintosh36 - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    The WORST stadium location in baseball and possibly the most uncomfortable it’s a shame this franchise is being held back by it and I’m a Yankee fan hoping they’re stuck there a long time I hate to think how good they’d be with the cash flow from a new stadium.

    • cackalackyank - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      You never know…cash flow does not seem to guarantee a great team all the time. A nice stadium might make them louzy. Just ask the Twins fans how many times they have sniffed the playoffs since Target field opened.

  12. flafreethinker - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    As a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay Area, it will not matter where a new stadium is built. The number one problem in this area is there are 4 million people and no public transportation. With local governments constantly fighting each other, planning and foresight are non existent. Until some form of rapid transit, light rail, mono rail or shuttle is built there will be limited support for the team for the simple fact the roads are so over crowded people don’t want to drive. T.V viewership is high. attendance is not. The trop is old,but from a fans perspective, still not bad. it is air conditioned,the seats are small and jammed together and not much in the way of high quality comforts. Just getting to the trop is the misery. Politics and big oil payouts preventing rapid transit have been the downfall, and I see no reason to believe it will change anytime soon.

    • 14rays - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      i agree 100%. if we had a rail system here that took us to the game.i would go to at the least 15 games a year. but has of now i go to 1 . i hate that stadium .

      • thesuper1 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Exactly, they didn’t really think it though apparently. Tampa is easier access from places like Daytona, Orlando, & Lakeland. Someone from St. Pete the other day, on another comment thread somewhere complained about traffic on the bridges coming from Pinellas to games at Ray J, & the Forum, but couldn’t see the logic behind my statement of “if you think it’s bad from Pinellas, imagine Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Orange, & Seminole counties all trying to go across at the same time.

  13. pappageorgio - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Dear Oakland A’s,

    F*** Y**


    Bud Selig

    • Bryz - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      I never knew that “you” was a swear word…

  14. chunkala - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Good organization, terrible fan base. Rays players agree.

  15. multiplemiggs - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    @jonny5 donating to charity doesnt make you that great of a person. Millionares do it all the time and write the donations off when they do their taxes. They make most of it back in their tax returns and its a way to move their money so it doesnt get outrageously taxed. When I hear about how “charitable” some millionare was I laugh it off. The more donations they make the greedier they are. Thats how I see it.

  16. baseball15best - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM


    your ability to KNOW why millionaires donate to charity is astounding, and perhaps you should be greedy like they are and donate 3 million of your dollars and NOT take the entirely LEGAL tax deduction. then you can come back here and post a copy of your donation and all of us will go ooooh and ahhhhh at your super un-greediness. While your at it make sure you never buy anything on sale, or try for a discount, or send in for a rebate because that makes you greedy and we know you to be way above the rest of us. People like you are horrifyingly stupid and scary.

  17. yanmontreal - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Bring them in Montreal.. They deserve a team,it is a beautiful city and a huge market. They only got screw by Loria

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