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statquo
10-05-2011, 03:16 AM
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7061072/tampa-bay-rays-owner-says-current-business-model-untenable


The Rangers sent the Rays home Tuesday afternoon -- not that many Tampa Bay area fans were in attendance to see it.

After selling out Game 3 to the tune of 32,828 fans, only 28,299 showed up for what turned out to be Texas' ALDS-clinching 4-3 victory.

"We replicated last year and our numbers were down," Sternberg said. "The (television) ratings were down. The rubber has got to hit the road at some point. We're four years into winning. We're getting to the point where we don't control our own destiny. This is untenable as a model."

Tampa Bay has reached the playoffs three times in the past four years, including two AL East titles and a World Series appearance in 2008. But despite the success, declining attendance has become an ongoing trend at the domed Tropicana Field, where the Rays play their home games.

"When I came in here in '05 and '06, I saw the stars, and I was confident that we could put a winning product on the field -- and I was told by you guys and others that all we needed was a winning team," said Sternberg, who assumed principle control of the franchise in 2005. "Well, we won. We won. We won. And we won. And it didn't do it."

Last September, Rays star third baseman Evan Longoria pleaded with fans to raise attendance and support the team.

"We've been playing great baseball all year. Since I've been here in (2006), the fans have wanted a good baseball team. They've wanted to watch a contender," Longoria told reporters at the time. "And for us to play good baseball for three years now, and for us to be in a spot to clinch again and go to the playoffs, we're all confused as to why it's only 15,000 to 20,000 in the building."

Sternberg's criticism comes after the Rays reached the postseason despite an epic offseason purge that chopped the team's 2010 payroll of $71.9 million to $ 41.9 on Opening Day this season, the second-lowest in baseball.

Local civic leaders are currently exploring options for a new stadium, but the effort is in the preliminary phases.

"You can look at us and potentially Oakland as the only teams in that respect," Sternberg said, referring to the only team who drew fewer fans than Tampa this season, the Oakland A's. "And Oakland by hook and crook will have a situation clearer well before we will, and we will be the last man standing. Or in this case, lying down."

Does anyone else feel for the guy? Is baseball even sustainable in Florida?

justndav
10-05-2011, 03:24 AM
Its to bad the fans in Tampa/St. Pete won't respond by attending games but the stadium is horrendous.

If I'm reading the article correctly from what the owner is saying I think it might be time for the fans down there to say goodbye to Longoria and any other player that makes decent money. Book it.

VRP723
10-05-2011, 03:27 AM
^ You're booking the fact that Longoria is going to get traded?

ugafan
10-05-2011, 03:49 AM
They should just move to a city that'll support them.

RTL
10-05-2011, 03:55 AM
Both the A's and Rays need to move for the good of the game. If fans don't go to games, MLB as a whole is losing money.

levignjw
10-05-2011, 03:57 AM
Absolutely feel for this guy. I'm sorry to the real TB fans out there, but this team should be moved, along with the Bucs.

Skizzik
10-05-2011, 08:14 AM
I feel for the guy about as much as I can feel for a guy with as much money as he has. Really, it's the players and the true fans that suffer the most. The players realize the lack of support and the true fans realize that unless something changes drastically, the Rays are probably gone. OKC has proven they can handle an NBA team, maybe try moving the Rays there. I'd make the drive to OKC occasionally when they play the Rangers.

Havoc Wreaker
10-05-2011, 08:25 AM
Move 'em to NY. God knows they need another team up there.

Buckwheat
10-05-2011, 08:28 AM
^ You're booking the fact that Longoria is going to get traded?

Nope.. released

Pinstripe pride
10-05-2011, 09:28 AM
then move out of tampa. its a terrible sports amrket, as is basically all of florida

Jeffy25
10-05-2011, 11:00 AM
They should move from St. Pete to actually being in Tampa.

I think their popularity is raising though, this past year should bring rise to better attendance against next year.

Btw, their attendance has slowly been increasing.

Jeffy25
10-05-2011, 11:03 AM
2011 - 1.529 (was supposed to be a rebuilding year)
2010 - 1.865
2009 - 1.874
2008 - 1.811
2007 - 1.387
2006 - 1.368
2005 - 1.141


They need to remember that their season ticket holders has increased and it has gotten better.

But nobody wants to pay 50 bucks a single way to go to a baseball game for a cab ride out to St. Pete.

The ballpark is in an awful location, and the city is full of implants

Jeffy25
10-05-2011, 11:04 AM
Its to bad the fans in Tampa/St. Pete won't respond by attending games but the stadium is horrendous.

If I'm reading the article correctly from what the owner is saying I think it might be time for the fans down there to say goodbye to Longoria and any other player that makes decent money. Book it.

I didn't know Longoria, or any other Ray made decent money.

You might check their payroll again.

Jeffy25
10-05-2011, 11:05 AM
And moving out of Tampa would be like starting over from 1998 all over again.

It takes awhile to create a loyal following in baseball. Starting over/moving would be suicide.

BLooDShoT_GrK
10-05-2011, 11:07 AM
They should move from St. Pete to actually being in Tampa.

I think their popularity is raising though, this past year should bring rise to better attendance against next year.

Btw, their attendance has slowly been increasing.

I don't think keeping them in Florida is the solution. People need to realize they have a serious AL East contender down there and get their butts to the game to support their team, if not then move them to a city that will. Im tired of seeing them play on TV and the only time the stadium is semi full is against the Yanks or the Sox cuz the fan bases travel so well and also have fans everywhere.

If they didnt start to draw the year after they went to the WS then they never will sorry but the Tampa/St. Pete experiment must end put the team where someone will actually go watch them cuz as i said they are a real good team

yanks19791024
10-05-2011, 11:07 AM
I was on vacation a few years back in Fl, and went to a Rays game vs the Yanks and 60% of fans there were Yanks fans...

VenezuelanMet
10-05-2011, 11:16 AM
Longoria won't make good money in like 10 years. He's the least of the worries.

Price is the only player I see them having trouble with. If he decides to go to arbitration when he can.

gotoHcarolina52
10-05-2011, 11:29 AM
Move them to Cuba. Las Mantarrayas de la Habana!

One thing's for sure, in Miami, the Mantarrayas would draw far better than the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox. Castro's team coming to play in Little Havana?! :speechless:

ManningToTyree
10-05-2011, 11:35 AM
I feel for the real fans down there because they are going to have to move eventually. A new park and a new location might be whats best. They should see how it works for the Marlins in their new park before deciding a location though. It may be that Florida is just a poor baseball market.

RTL
10-05-2011, 11:49 AM
It takes awhile to create a loyal following in baseball. Starting over/moving would be suicide.

I disagree because the fans aren't that loyal and they can do a lot better in a market where they are wanted. While a move to St. Pete would be better, a move out of Florida would be even better.

Yankee Clipper
10-05-2011, 11:55 AM
And moving out of Tampa would be like starting over from 1998 all over again.

It takes awhile to create a loyal following in baseball. Starting over/moving would be suicide.

Don't know about that. This team is full of young talent that has been very competitive for the past few years and has the potential to be an elite club in the near future. If a loyal fan base can't be formed with that I think it is time to move to a different location within the next few years.

La11
10-05-2011, 11:58 AM
I really dont get it how all florida teams have horrible attendance in sports. Can someone explain it to me? is it cause most of the people in florida are retired people??

benzni
10-05-2011, 12:10 PM
If the stadium was moved closer to Tampa, or in Tampa, then their attendance numbers would go up.

Claymation
10-05-2011, 12:10 PM
I wonder where they can move them?

Giraffes Rule
10-05-2011, 12:14 PM
Move em to San Antonio! I'd go to their games. :p

CostanzaNumba0
10-05-2011, 12:18 PM
Its a perfect storm of a god awful stadium, transient fans and a population that has NY roots. They should move to New Orleans, Charlotte or Vegas

Halladay
10-05-2011, 12:20 PM
I really dont get it how all florida teams have horrible attendance in sports. Can someone explain it to me? is it cause most of the people in florida are retired people??

It's always been a pretty awful sports state. I think it likely has something to do with who populates the state.

gotoHcarolina52
10-05-2011, 12:21 PM
I really dont get it how all florida teams have horrible attendance in sports. Can someone explain it to me? is it cause most of the people in florida are retired people??

- too many retired people
- too many young people who'd rather go to the beach/clubbing
- too many middle-aged people who'd rather go play golf/fishing
- too long a legacy of ownership deceit (Marlins)
- terrible stadium facilities (Marlins, Rays)
- terrible stadium locations (Rays, Marlins)
- terrible weather (Marlins)
- terrible on-field product (Jaguars, Dolphins, Marlins)
- too many children who'd rather go see Mickey Mouse (Magic)
- too little snow (Panthers, Lightning)

Halladay
10-05-2011, 12:22 PM
Its a perfect storm of a god awful stadium, transient fans and a population that has NY roots. They should move to New Orleans, Charlotte or Vegas

Not sure any of those 3 cities could really do it. While Vegas probably could, I doubt MLB wants to go near a city like that, just creates headaches. That's why no pro leagues will go to Vegas. I'd hope MLB would look at Canadian cities again. Vancouver could do it but the Mariners would try and block them no doubt.

CostanzaNumba0
10-05-2011, 12:32 PM
Not sure any of those 3 cities could really do it. While Vegas probably could, I doubt MLB wants to go near a city like that, just creates headaches. That's why no pro leagues will go to Vegas. I'd hope MLB would look at Canadian cities again. Vancouver could do it but the Mariners would try and block them no doubt.

The correct move would be Mexico city, but that will never happen

rapsjaysfan88
10-05-2011, 12:35 PM
build a new stadium and bring them to montreal.

RTL
10-05-2011, 12:37 PM
Louisville would be a great spot but would hurt the Cincy market

Jeffy25
10-05-2011, 01:23 PM
Knowing the people I know in Louisville, they wouldn't care.

They are all Reds fans there anyway. And really, seem to care more about horse racing and college sports.

RTL
10-05-2011, 01:28 PM
I use to live in Louisville and Lexington and I think they would love a professional baseball team. I met a lot more Cards fans than Red fans when I lived there but probably because I was seeking them out more. College basketball will always be king and the horse racing is cute for a weekend but lots of baseball fans around that area. It won't happen I know but I can dream:)

StayOnBoard
10-05-2011, 01:29 PM
Knowing the people I know in Louisville, they wouldn't care.

They are all Reds fans there anyway. And really, seem to care more about horse racing and college sports.

QFT

I think they should just move them to Tampa - but that's a long process as well. There's really no short term fix for this.

the_jon
10-05-2011, 01:29 PM
They can`t even get a new building because the cheapskates that had them before signed like a 20 year lease on the stadium they have now to save money. If only that same building could be moved to Tampa Bay. It`s not a good stadium but everyone knows the real problem is location.

B'sCeltsPatsSox
10-05-2011, 01:35 PM
I think they should move to San Antonio or Portland.

redbird89
10-05-2011, 01:41 PM
I don't understand why the Rays are having so much trouble and the Marlins aren't. How did the Marlins get a new stadium when their attendance is even worse than the Rays?

Yankee Clipper
10-05-2011, 01:48 PM
I don't understand why the Rays are having so much trouble and the Marlins aren't. How did the Marlins get a new stadium when their attendance is even worse than the Rays?

It seems as though Marlins' management is banking on the idea of increased interest and attendance when they move from the dump they are currently playing into a brand new ballpark.

redbird89
10-05-2011, 01:49 PM
Both the A's and Rays need to move for the good of the game. If fans don't go to games, MLB as a whole is losing money.

There may not be any good places to move them.

Maybe contraction is a better option. I would say the Marlins, too, but they have a new stadium.

If you contracted the A's and the Rays then you would just have to move two NL teams to the AL and then you'd have 14 teams in each league.

Pete Dahh Sneak
10-05-2011, 02:03 PM
I think they should move to San Antonio or Portland.

Thank you!

Portland fans are known for being 1 of the best in 2 major sports (NBA and MLS). I'm as sure as one can be that the natives would welcome an already successful team with open arms.

gotoHcarolina52
10-05-2011, 02:04 PM
There may not be any good places to move them.

Maybe contraction is a better option. I would say the Marlins, too, but they have a new stadium.

If you contracted the A's and the Rays then you would just have to move two NL teams to the AL and then you'd have 14 teams in each league.

All this contract the Marlins talk is nonsense. They have a new stadium opening in 2012 with a 30-year lease. They are rumored to be moving toward an $80 to $100 million payroll (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/marlins/1876199.html). There is zero chance they fall prey to contraction.

Why don't we talk about more realistic things like, say, the Cardinals getting eliminated tonight?!

F*(&"Next Year"
10-05-2011, 02:12 PM
Oklahoma city.

Talk about a city that immediately embraced a young team in the OKC Thunder. I can't imagine they would struggle to bring attendance to an exciting and young baseball team.

redbird89
10-05-2011, 02:31 PM
All this contract the Marlins talk is nonsense. They have a new stadium opening in 2012 with a 30-year lease. They are rumored to be moving toward an $80 to $100 million payroll (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/marlins/1876199.html). There is zero chance they fall prey to contraction.

Why don't we talk about more realistic things like, say, the Cardinals getting eliminated tonight?!

Sorry, I didn't mean to strike a nerve.

TheRuckus
10-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Move the Rays to Portland! Then I'd have even more incentive to move there myself. :)

Also, you can forget about contraction. It's just not going to happen.

Towelie
10-05-2011, 02:43 PM
If he doesn't like it then move? It's hard to feel for a guy when he's in a **** stadium, and is in a **** place. He knew this when he bought the team in 2005, don't like it make changes.

RevisIsland
10-05-2011, 03:05 PM
They win and people don't show up. That's ridiculous. I totally feel for this guy.

nycsports2
10-05-2011, 03:06 PM
- too many retired people
- too many young people who'd rather go to the beach/clubbing
- too many middle-aged people who'd rather go play golf/fishing
- too long a legacy of ownership deceit (Marlins)
- terrible stadium facilities (Marlins, Rays)
- terrible stadium locations (Rays, Marlins)
- terrible weather (Marlins)
- terrible on-field product (Jaguars, Dolphins, Marlins)
- too many children who'd rather go see Mickey Mouse (Magic)
- too little snow (Panthers, Lightning)

this

iam brett favre
10-05-2011, 03:08 PM
Their A ball team that is a half hour away from me gets more fans a night than they do

Ares
10-05-2011, 03:55 PM
How frustrating can the financials be? Nothing more than simple algebra I'm sure. These guys are dummies.

SordidState
10-05-2011, 03:58 PM
build a new stadium and bring them to montreal.

Jonah Kerri would ruin 29 pairs of underpants if this happened.

"Ace"ves
10-05-2011, 05:56 PM
Is he frustrated with his first round draft picks too?

its a business, you don't like the $$ thats coming in? Do something to make it come in

Twitchy
10-05-2011, 06:01 PM
I think a lot of you are missing the point.

This is a team that has made the playoffs now 3 of the past 4 years. And their attendance has gone down, not up.

They've done a fantastic job with promotions, free parking, the kind of things that ownership does to improve fan attendance. And none of it's working.

This isn't the teams fault anymore, they've held up their end of the bargain. The fans just aren't interested in seeing the Rays.

carson005
10-05-2011, 06:03 PM
Vancouver just had a $500 million dollar renovation done to BC Place. Just saying...

gotoHcarolina52
10-05-2011, 06:33 PM
Vancouver just had a $500 million dollar renovation done to BC Place. Just saying...

The place looks great. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/09/30/bc-place-reopens-retractable-roof.html?cmp=rss

Sportfan
10-05-2011, 07:05 PM
They should move from St. Pete to actually being in Tampa.

I think their popularity is raising though, this past year should bring rise to better attendance against next year.

Btw, their attendance has slowly been increasing.


2011 - 1.529 (was supposed to be a rebuilding year)
2010 - 1.865
2009 - 1.874
2008 - 1.811
2007 - 1.387
2006 - 1.368
2005 - 1.141


They need to remember that their season ticket holders has increased and it has gotten better.

But nobody wants to pay 50 bucks a single way to go to a baseball game for a cab ride out to St. Pete.

The ballpark is in an awful location, and the city is full of implants


I didn't know Longoria, or any other Ray made decent money.

You might check their payroll again.


And moving out of Tampa would be like starting over from 1998 all over again.

It takes awhile to create a loyal following in baseball. Starting over/moving would be suicide.
post padding anyone?

carson005
10-05-2011, 07:07 PM
The place looks great. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/09/30/bc-place-reopens-retractable-roof.html?cmp=rss

It seriously does. Got tickets to the grey cup(aka my dad does and he is bringing me :laugh2:), will be awesome.

runnermjr1296
10-05-2011, 07:17 PM
Its all those freakin cow bells! Seriously though I hope they stay,, I'm moving down there.

justndav
10-05-2011, 08:04 PM
My post that is being questioned by some, post #2, refers to Longoria's salary in the coming years. If the Rays feel like they are losing to much money it would seem to me he'd be where you start with salary slashing moves. He is owed 10.5mil the next two seasons, after which point his contract may get very hefty for a cost minded Tampa Bay.

David Price, with arbitration looming, is in much the same boat. If the owner feels like the fan base not showing up is not going to improve and he's losing money then there is only one solution a team can make, cut payroll drastically.

Like it or not Longoria is one of the higher paid Rays starting next year. That is the point I was making. Geez people need to relax a little around these forums.

misterd
10-06-2011, 12:04 AM
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7061072/tampa-bay-rays-owner-says-current-business-model-untenable



Does anyone else feel for the guy? Is baseball even sustainable in Florida?

Absolutely heartbreaking. I can get the stadium being in a bad location, but the downturn in TV viewing is hard to explain away. This team deserves a better fate. Put this team and this ownership in a market that will support even a slightly below average payroll and they would have been much more formidable this year.

MVP1
10-06-2011, 02:58 AM
If you can't get out of your house for a playoff game what else can the Rays do? It's clear that the Tampa Bay/St.Petersburg area has no interest in baseball.

Yankee Clipper
10-06-2011, 04:34 AM
I think a lot of you are missing the point.

This is a team that has made the playoffs now 3 of the past 4 years. And their attendance has gone down, not up.

They've done a fantastic job with promotions, free parking, the kind of things that ownership does to improve fan attendance. And none of it's working.

This isn't the teams fault anymore, they've held up their end of the bargain. The fans just aren't interested in seeing the Rays.

Exactly. When you have a competitive team littered with young stars and cheap ticket prices it is on the fans to show up and support the team. The St. Petersburg/Tampa area obviously does not have the appropriate interest to keep this team afloat financially.

knicks_champ
10-06-2011, 05:46 AM
Move 'em to NY. God knows they need another team up there.

Manhattan needs a team. :)

"Ace"ves
10-06-2011, 09:43 AM
well we could whine about it or do something about it