TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A positive start to the Rays’ homestand was interrupted Sunday by a report that the Tampa Bay Rays may be up for sale soon. In fact, the news was so sudden that Rays owner Stu Sternberg had no choice but to offer a response.
The rumors all began with a report from The Athletic that stated outside investors are lining up to make a possible run and buy the Rays from Sternberg. However, all rumors were laid to rest when the Tampa Bay Times received a response from the owner during Sunday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Sternberg said that he expects a ballpark to be built in Tampa Bay that will “keep the Rays here for generations to come.”
“I expect we will build a ballpark in Tampa Bay that will keep the Rays here for generations to come. I also plan on remaining the Rays owner,” he said.
While Sternberg reiterated that the Rays were staying put and he would remain the owner, that didn’t stop outside reports from saying that new Rays ownership may move the club. According to The Athletic, one of the possible candidates could be Tampa’s very own Dan Doyle Jr.
Doyle is the founder and CEO of DEX Imaging, a Tampa-based company that proclaims to be “the nation’s largest independent provider of office technology with a local touch.”
The rumor that Major League Baseball’s hottest team will be up for sale soon comes just a few weeks after former NBA executive and Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams revealed plans for a potential MLB stadium in Orlando.
Williams stated earlier this month that if the Rays couldn’t get a new ballpark in St. Pete, the city of Orlando would welcome the team with open arms.
“If it doesn’t work out, it makes great sense. It makes wonderful sense,” Williams told reporters. “We’re here for them if they need us.”
A group led by Williams said they’ve been hard at work to start looking for a team in Orlando, even if the Rays remain in the Tampa Bay area. According to Front Office Sports, the pitch included a $1.7 billion stadium “funded in part by $975 million from tourist taxes.”
The Rays fell to the Brewers 6-4 at Tropicana Field Sunday, bringing them to a 21-4 record at home. The Tampa Bay team will be back in action Monday at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. The first pitch is set for 6:40 p.m.